The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 8, 2013

Abusers are patients in need and not necessarily criminals

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Re: Norman Transcript article of April 4, 2013, “Inmate Allegedly Took Her Own Life.”

Today I read the front page article concerning the tragic death of inmate Amy Lynn Covington while she was incarcerated in the local jail cell for a public intoxication complaint.

I do not know this patient personally, but she was a patient in every sense of the word and not a criminal.

Drug abuse individuals are sick and need help of many kinds and dimensions. They are usually not criminals. They may be driven to commit criminal offenses for a number of reasons. They are showing the signs of emotional stress that face us all at some time in our lives.

An individual suffering from an overdose of a drug or alcohol should be hospitalized or confined where he can be examined adequately and appropriate therapy started. The jail cell is not the proper place to treat these patients.

Every person has the right to his or her opinion, and this is mine.

FRANK H. COOPER, M.D. (retired)

Norman

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