This is in reply to a recent letter to the editor written by Lesley Winter

This is in reply to a recent letter to the editor written by Lesley Winter.

Addiction is often a direct cause of a mental illness. Having been a volunteer helping the homeless and addicted, I have seen professionals, policemen, students, athletes and people with PTSD became addicts. These people at some point in their life have had to deal with a significant event that triggered their brain to crash.

Because of the stigma of mental illness, many try to heal themselves. To get relief from the pain of their mental illness they turn to alcohol and drugs. As the illness gets worse and the more alcohol and drugs they use, they end up being an addict.

The mind is the most complex part of our body to heal. It can take months to years to heal the ills caused by mental illness. Less is known about how to treat mental illness than many other illnesses. There is no magical treatment.

Winter wrote if someone fails at addiction treatment and resumes their addictions, they should not be entitled to more treatment. So what happens to these people? Discarded addicts will continue to live and they must be fed, clothed and sheltered. Many will likely end up killing themselves or dying from overdoses in our parks, streets, schools, churches or taking up arms and kill others as a way to get help.

Governments (taxpayers) and society’s helpers will have a new problem: manage the aftermath of a “one and done” policy. One thing I am confident of is supporters of “one and done” will be not be volunteering to be society’s helpers.

What is accomplished? Nothing, except further hurt is put upon those who can’t care for themselves. “One and done” is a wrong-headed and inhumane idea.

Harold Baker


Parksville Qualicum Beach News