BRATTLEBORO — 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.
We need methadone outreach programs, more clinics, and transitional services.
These are human beings, and as a society, we are failing them.
This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.