Tragedy of drug addiction

I read with great interest Stephen Betts’ OpEd in the July 13 paper regarding losing children to addiction.

I was so moved by Mr. Betts’ insight and tragic synopsis of his son’s struggle with addiction. My heart goes out to him and his family for their tragic loss.

Any addiction, whether drugs or alcohol related, is a constant struggle for some families. I know how addiction can affect your child, having had an adult son who suffered a severe 7,500 volts of electricity injury 10 years ago. The current entered his forehead and exited at his hip. The injury left him totally paralyzed with severe head injuries, the loss of one eye and months in the hospital and rehab.

Today, he is no longer the robust young man who was always looking for a good time, and is a resident of a nursing facility. He is a repentant man who tried rehab many times with no lasting success and who acknowledged to his brother, weeks after his injury, “I really did it this time.”

A family can only do so much. We hope and pray for our children, and they need our love and support, but sometimes we just aren’t able to reach them until it’s too late.

Thank you, Mr. Betts, for your heart-wrenching OpEd that enlightens all of us on this terrible alcohol and drug addiction crisis affecting our children within our state.

Dorcas B. Mahan


Herbig for Maine Senate

As a 70-year-old, I am naturally concerned about issues affecting the elderly.

In my case, I have good health insurance and a decent retirement income. However, many other elderly people of this state are not as fortunate as I am and need assistance to receive adequate health care, including hospitalization services and home health care.

Rep. Erin Herbig, a Democrat serving as House chair of the Aging Caucus, has worked diligently to allow more Maine seniors to maintain their dignity and independence by remaining able to continue to age in their own homes and own communities. She supports family caregivers and fights to ensure that funding for hospitals and home health care is made available to that end.

Additionally, Herbig is committed to growing the economy of her Waldo County district and the state by supporting the businesses that provide job opportunities to our people.

I urge the voters of Senate District 11 to vote to send her to the Maine Senate in November.

Darryl C. Parker


Putin hooks Trump

At the 2007 “Lobster Summit” in Kennebunkport, Russian President Vladimir Putin met for two days with President George W. Bush to try to reverse the downward slide in the administration’s relationship with Moscow. Putin enjoyed a Maine lobster at the Bush family’s seaside compound.

While on a fishing trip, Putin was the only one to catch anything. “It’s a fine catch,” Bush said. Eleven years later, it is Putin in Helsinki who can say of President Donald Trump: “He is a fine catch.”

Trump on Monday refused to say whether he believes the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia interfered with our 2016 elections. Maine’s congressional delegation has denounced his statement. Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump’s performance “nothing short of treasonous.”

The president has publicly embraced our documented enemy and insults our allies. Vigorous civic action is required of all citizens to protect our democracy. To adapt the words of a dissenter during the Third Reich: “First they came for the immigrants, but I was not an immigrant so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Muslims and Mexicans, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came to separate the women and children refugees, but I was neither so I did not speak out. And when they came for the judges and journalists, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Citizens can do terrible things by doing nothing at all. Think November elections.

Robert F. Lyons