Rehabilitate Not Incarcerate
Last Wednesday David Sheff, author of “Beautiful Boy” came down to St. Anthony Foundation’s new home at 150 Golden Gate Avenue to talk to staff and residents of The Father Alfred Treatment Center. David shared his experience, strength and hope with the St. Anthony community in his son’s trials and triumphs in dealing with the disease of alcoholism and addiction.
He brought up a many valid points that got me to thinking: We’ve known addiction is a clinical disease since 1935. For 65 years, prior to the passage of Proposition 36 in 2000, California imprisoned people for having a chronic and debilitating disease that has no known cure without an alternate option for treatment. California currently spends approximately $80 per person per day on incarcerating inmates. St. Anthony Foundation’s Rehabilitation Programs are $25 a day. Untold billions of dollars have been spent giving sick individuals extended “time outs” that have done nothing to address their illness.
The disease of addiction can, however, be arrested and go into remission. We’ve been helping people along their path in recovery since 1951, allowing participants up to a year to learn, grow, and heal in a safe and supportive environment.