Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, August 4, 2017
Opioid Users Are Filling Jails. Why Don’t Jails Treat Them?
NEW HAVEN — When Dave Mason left jail in October 2015 after his 14th criminal conviction, the odds were good that he would end up dead.
A man with a longtime heroin addiction, Mr. Mason was entering one of the deadliest windows for jailed users returning to the streets: the first two weeks after release, when they often make the mistake of returning to a dose their body can no longer handle.
Standing outside the New Haven Correctional Center, clutching his few belongings in a brown paper bag, Mr. Mason appeared precariously close to taking that path. His ride never showed up. He had no money, no contact with his family and nowhere to live.
But instead of panhandling for cash to score drugs, he went to a methadone clinic, determined to stay clean.
Of the nation’s 5,100 jails and prisons, fewer than 30 offer opioid users the most proven method of recovery: administering methadone or buprenorphine, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Dr. Kathleen Maurer, director of health services for Connecticut’s corrections department, said it was critical for jails and prisons to treat opioid addictions like chronic diseases, including providing medicine.
“We don’t take away people’s insulin or their asthma inhalers,” she said. “Why should we take away their methadone?”
Readings from Jeremiah 5.21-23 for Friday, August 4, 2017
God has given this generation abilities that couldn’t be imagined 100 years ago. Who could have imagined super computers, smart phones, and driver-less cars at that time? Even though we have the ability to travel through space, our morality has not exceeded the times of Jeremiah the prophet.
Our intelligence and mechanical advancements have not brought us closer to love. Like the people of Jeremiah’s day, we are stubborn, rebellious and we have turned away from the pathway of peace.
Jeremiah 5.21-23 – Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear. Do you not fear me? says the Lord; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it. But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away.
Prayers for Friday, August 4, 2017
Dear God, we repent that we are distant from you because of our poor choices. Please cause us to return to you and to what is right.