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Letter: Drug Abusers Need Treatment

I am a director at Drug Free Long Island, Inc. and Drug Free Massapequa (a volunteer). I am retired after 25 years with Nassau County and 18 years with the Town of Oyster Bay.

At the Town I was deputy town attorney and in charge of employees relations and also drug and alcohol matters. At three separate occasions, we had three individuals with drug and alcohol problems whose situations still haunt me. All three were desperately in need of long term inpatient care, over 30 days. Even I could tell by observation (as well as their doctor`s and therapists’ evaluations) that these were seriously ill people simply by listening to their speech patterns. Inpatient therapy had been ordered for them. The insurance company said no, not until they had failed two outpatient courses of treatment. The alcohol abuser had. He was initially placed for 30-60 days inpatient, but against therapist orders he was terminated from treatment after 15 days. He was dead a few weeks later.

The other two were never allowed to go inpatient. Each was dead within a fortnight. They could do nothing to get them the necessary inpatient therapy. Their doctors, family and therapists spoke to the insurance company. I, the prosecutor and those acting as judges in their cases also contacted the insurance company. All to no effect. Not one of them lasted a month after getting out of detox.

Recently. state Senator Kemp Hannon offered a bill to prevent insurance companies from denying medically mandated care. State Senator James Seward and state Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg have united to try to make it a law that insurance companies can no longer deny a person in crisis treatment desperately needed by them.

I will long remember my fights and fears for all three of those people who succumbed to their drug demons. I will eternally bless senators Hannon and Seward and Assemblyman Weisbein.

Please feel free to utilize these tragic facts, if perhaps it will save lives.

John Joseph Budnick

News

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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