July 23, 2019
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Monday, April 15, 2019: Treat substance use and mental health disorders, time for Collins to honor term limit pledge, nice to see Non Sequitur back

Nice to see Non Sequitur back

Whew! My mornings are complete and secure again, as I leapt for joy to see my friend Wiley’s “etchings” on my BDN comic page. You are welcome to “dump” Pearls Before Swine anytime you have enough votes. It’s dumb.

Peter Duston


Past time for Collins to honor term limit pledge

Sen. Susan Collins needs to keep her pledge, made publicly in 1996, to serve only two terms and then term-limit herself out. It’s well past time she made good on that promise to her constituents, since she doesn’t seem to represent or work for us, but rather for the out-of-state donors currently filling her re-election coffers for 2020.

Collins should remember her word and retire already, because “12 years is long enough to be in public service, make a contribution, and then come home and let someone else take your place.” Her words, not mine. Just another Republican failing to keep her word. Watch the video, in case you’ve forgotten.

Kathleen VanGorder


Treat substance use and mental health disorders

As the conversation pertaining to substance use disorders continues to be relevant in mainstream media, I believe that it is important to highlight a current gap in co-occurring treatment services.

To combat substance use disorders, Maine implemented Adult Drug Treatment Courts (ADTC) in 2001. These courts are composed of specialty dockets involving high-risk/high-need individuals with substance use disorders that are involved with the criminal justice system. Individuals inducted into this court take part in rigorous judicial monitoring, community supervision, drug testing and specialized treatment services. Research has verified that enrollment in ADTCs produce significant reductions in recidivism, improved treatment retention leading to strengthened recovery outcomes and improved public safety.

Although the secured funding aims to combat the substance use disorder crisis, it cannot be used for mental health services. Unfortunately, in 2016, 8.2 million adults nationwide had co-occurring diagnoses. This additional disorder can muddle treatment and recovery efforts, if not addressed appropriately. There are five ADTCs in Maine that run into the problem of not being able to fund mental health treatment. There is only one co-occurring treatment court in Maine, which has the ability to fund mental health services for individuals. From a therapeutic standpoint, best practice involves the treatment of both an individual’s mental health disorder and their substance use disorder. Unfortunately, without insurance and funding to pay for mental health treatment, these individuals are forced to join long lines of waiting lists for “free care” services.

Katrina Duncan


Thoughts from Dewey

John Dewey published “Individualism Old and New” in 1930. He wrote: “The business mind, having its own conversation and language, its own interest, its own intimate groupings in which men of this mind, in their collective capacity, determine the tone of society at large as well as the government of industrial society … We now have, although without formal or legal status, a mental and moral corporateness for which history affords no parallel.”

Donald Stanley


The Constitution is ours

Joshua Dunlap’s view of the Constitution and the role of states, as outlined in his March 31 OpEd opposing a national popular vote, is divorced from reality. The need to form a union required a compromise with the slaveholding colonies. The newly formed states were given enormous power. The framers of the Constitution did not share Dunlap’s confidence in the perfection of the document they had made. They foresaw the eventual need to change it, writing in provisions for amendments, which followed immediately in the Bill of Rights.

The framers understood the corrupting effect of power and money, but could not possibly have imagined how industrialization could vastly increase those effects. Through legislation, amendments and the courts we have tried to adjust to a changing world. The process of change has been a stew of good intentions and naked self-interest. In this the states have had a major part; their record is decidedly mixed. Let us not forget the long history of racial abuse. States are said to be laboratories of democracy. Thank Maine for ranked choice voting. Other states watch with interest.

For better or worse, the Constitution is ours. We will attempt to fix what we see obstructing or limiting our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

John Spadola



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