Letter to the Editor: Bereaved mother regrets Luzerne County’s inaction on addiction-recovery facilities


Coal to the Luzerne County Council members who rejected the offer from Jim Casey to purchase the former juvenile detention center for the purpose of building a long-term recovery facility for female addicts, which is so desperately needed.

The front page of Thursday’s edition featured an article about the need for funding to handle the heroin epidemic. Councilwoman Kathy Dobash stated how heroin has “taken over” Hazleton, and she voted against the sale of the detention center.

When addicts are discharged from rehab, they must have a recovery facility. Otherwise, 90 percent of the time they go back to their “druggie” friends and end up in jail, in a hospital or dead. When an addict leaves rehab, their bodies cannot tolerate their previous doses.

Mike Donahue, former director of the county’s drug and alcohol program, has been pushing for such a facility, but the old “not in my backyard” mentality continues.

If such a facility existed, my precious late daughter, Janine, might still be alive.

Most addicts need to be in a structured setting when they are discharged from a rehab or jail, as they cannot cope with the real world.

It will be two years this Thanksgiving since I lost my Janine. She was beautiful, smart, a college graduate, popular, and so loving. She passed six months after her father passed. Needless to say, my life has been torn apart.

Please, council. Allow Mr. Casey to purchase this property. It could be the first step in the right direction.

Everyone continues to talk, but nothing is done.

Jane Saba