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Addicts need care

July 16, 2013 Letters to the Editor

Regarding the April 5, Page 1 story, “Defendant fails drug program, gets jail time.”

I am the mother of Brett Whitmire. The article made my son out to be a career criminal, which he definitely is not. Brett is not a criminal, he is an addict in recovery.

Brett was in the Butler County Drug Court program and only 12 days from completing the program. He was leader of the Oxford House, where the men lived. He was doing wonderfully in the program and also working six days a week to provide for his family. He is a good man and father.

I want the truth told as to the Butler County judicial system.

Brett was sentenced to 4-13 years in prison for a technical violation (dirty urine). This sentence is totally inappropriate for the crime.

Brett’s probation officer felt that Brett was ready to leave the Oxford House, but Brett told her on several occasions that he was not ready. The probation officer put him out anyway, claiming they needed his bed for another person.

I am totally putting this on the probation officer, due to the fact that she knew Brett was not prepared to be on his own yet.

Prison is not the answer to addiction. He requires intense treatment. It is my belief he was set up for failure by the Butler County judicial system. I know there are many people who find themselves in the same situation.

Please do not give up on a family member due to addiction. It can be overcome.