Dear Editor,

In your June 28 edition, Miss Ann Tison writes about some hard truths. I’d like to piggyback my thoughts on the matter of incarcerated persons due to substance abuse. The estimates are 1 out of 10 suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. If you include the lives that the person addicted has adversely affected , that number grows exponentially. I myself have personal family experience with the effects of addiction. Somehow the chain needs to break, and with the cuts to funding for treatment, the prospects for winning the battle against this disease are grim. Yes that’s right I called it a disease!

We here in Gulf County are in path of destruction if we don’t pull together and search for a cure. It’s obvious that mass incarceration isn’t really the best solution. Now I’ve been a businessman in this county for 15 years and I know a little about supply and demand. If the demand is high, the supply will always be there. So perhaps if we talked more openly about the issue of addiction in this county, we could start reducing the demand.

In other words let’s treat the addict and alcoholic as sick people instead of criminals. Now that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be arrested, however, we really need to work hard with our citizens to help them to recover. I work in the trades, and every subcontractor I talk to has the same thing to say. Employees are hard to find, and many who show up have addiction problems and don’t last the week. This issue has motivated me to become more personally involved, and it is one reason I am running for Gulf County Commission.

There are other issues that I will address , however this one is a matter of life and death.

Thanks for your attention,

John Nagy

Member, Democratic Executive Committee District 1.