Dear Editor:

Yes, I did watch all of the video “Seattle is Dying” as recommended by Joe Fries.

Rhode Island has the right solution for facing the burgeoning drug addiction and homeless situation.

From someone who has worked in partnership with a host of people to set up a rehabilitative community (Twin Valleys School in Ontario) and also in a seniors’ care home for the addicted in the downtown east side of Vancouver, it is obvious to me that once a person is fully addicted, most have lost any ability to make the choice to withdraw of their own free will and hence it has to be made for them.

I saw men and women at the age of 60 and 70 whose first priority in getting money in their hands was to first buy drugs and alcohol, absolute zero ability to alter their addictive behavior on their own.

Proper legislation and court guidelines are the first step to make that decision for them in order to save their lives and bring safety and comfort to their families and the community.

Last week’s incident of an attack on a 19-year-old female tourist in a public washroom was the shot across the bow for Penticton and it’s not the first such attack in our city.

If you want to scream rights and freedom of choice, scream for your own first, freedom to live in a safe society, anywhere and at any time of day or night in your fair city.

As Rhode Island is demonstrating, mandatory treatment, either in prison or a rehabilitation centre with strong follow-up is saving peoples’ lives, both for the addict and for possible unintended victims.

I assure you, I will never visit Seattle again until I hear that the streets are both safe and clean. I hope tourists don’t ever have to say the same about the sunny Okanagan.

Money is not the problem, we just need to spend the public purse where it has been demonstrated to get the results for the proper goal.