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Addiction is alive and well in Weston County

Barb Riggs

To the Editor:

I just had the sad pleasure of reading the front page article in the Weston County Gazette newspaper that $7,000 that was allocated to go to gambling addiction went to the News Letter Journal newspaper pocket. What? They decided — in front of Kristi Lipp, the substance and addiction representative — that the money was better spent on the newspaper for advertising and information about where services are for the problem.

Kristi was representing the 21 Wellness program that helps people with addiction to get a voucher for treatment, mental health services, counseling, support, prescriptions, etc, to help people with a gambling addiction. According to Wyoming Statute 9-24-104, there is a need right here in Weston County for this money. There is not easy access to any treatment and this money would help ease that. This money would come in annually.

There is an addiction problem in this county in one way, shape or form. Some are just more dangerous and damaging than others. Addiction meaning, per dictionary: a compulsive, chronic, psychological or physiological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological or socially effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors and nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence: state of being addicted: gambling, alcohol, drugs, prescription painkillers, pornography, sex,
shopping, working, food, video games, internet,
exercising, money.

The list is endless, but all around us.

I vote for the money to go to 21 Wellness. I care about if education and services will help even one person and their family — it’s money well spent. We as a nation pay for this every day of our lives one way or another. People love to say it doesn’t exist — it’s everywhere — even here in little old
Weston County!

Not one person that has addiction said as a child, “when I grow up I want to be an addict”! Do the right thing and give the money (annually) to 21 Wellness! Get your heads out of the sand and start educating yourselves and realize we are talking about human beings. Also, maybe we all need to do an “accountability assessment” on our own selves and see how well we do. I’m not perfect and make a lot of mistakes, but I want the money to go to 21 Wellness!



— Barb Riggs

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