Cindi Brown

'These are human beings, and as a society, we are failing them'

The problem is the drugs - my father, last time I talked to him, was living in a tent in Brattleboro.

I live in Maine, where I see encampments in Portland, too. Recently, 140 people were offered shelter and they declined, choosing to live outside.

We can't talk about the homelessness problem without discussing the drug problem - and that these drugs that are out there and are so powerful that withdrawals can kill people, or at best be agonizing.

We have such a different viewpoint when we discuss medications for those with physical illnesses. People who have become addicted to drugs have a mental illness that, when they go through withdrawals, is compounded with real physical pain.

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