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Sun, Dec. 15

Letter: Recovery needs a strict approach


The citizens of Prescott have become polarized over the significant growth of recovery programs in our fair city. There are those who are supportive and those who are opposed.

It is not the intent of this letter to rehash the issues advanced by either group, but rather to offer a thought centered around the "structure" of these various and widely divergent local programs.

We need look no more than 200 miles to the Crossroads Mission Recovery Program located in Yuma for our model. It's a tough program demanding a high degree of personal commitment and compliance.

Upon acceptance there, you are placed in a secure environment, surrounded by high fences topped with barbed wire, segregated by gender. You are in jail.

You are monitored by certified emergency medical technicians. A nurse practitioner evaluates you. You are constantly screened and observed. After successful treatment, you are released.

This treatment is structured and provided by counselors who meet the Arizona state requirements: behavioral health professionals and technicians. That would silence local comments that "last week's recovery patient is often this week's counselor."

Perhaps instead of all of us voicing our comments largely directed toward each other, we should band together and demand that our city leaders look at the structural model found at Crossroads Mission and at other recovery institutions and devise and codify a set of regulations that provide a model for all the recovery programs in Prescott.

On a personal note, I would feel more supportive of these various local recovery programs if the entering participants had to make a sacrifice and commitment to live in a jail-like environment until they completed treatment administered by those who meet the state requirements for this profession.

Frank Roemer


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