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Oakland Community Clinic Sparking a Struggle Against Cuts to Drug Medi-Cal

by Bill Hackwell (hckwll [at] yahoo.com)
Having launched a successful state wide petition campaign against impending cuts to drug treatment funding, O.A.S.I.S Clinic held a street rally in downtown Oakland to educate the public about the benefits of drug treatment and to extend their petition campaign protesting these cuts. The protest was organized by the patient activist committee of O.A.S.I.S and was attended by patients, staff and many people who joined from the streets.

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Approximately 1 out of every 8 Californians is living with addiction to drugs or alcohol and rates are on the rise, especially among young people. Although stigmatized as a moral issue, newer medical imaging techniques demonstrate that addiction is a chronic illness characterized by neurochemical changes in the brain. For many, highly effective medical treatments including methadone and buprenorphine are the key to maintaining prolonged abstinence, much as medications for asthma, high blood pressure, and diabetes are prescribed chronically to maintain health.

In addition, drug treatment is highly cost effective: studies show that for every dollar spent on treatment, up to $7 is saved in reduced criminal activity, incarceration, and spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. Despite these savings, California legislators are contemplating a short-sighted strategy to reduce costs by eliminating funding for Drug Medi-Cal, thereby eliminating access to care for many persons currently engaged in or needing drug treatment services.

Many of the O.A.S.I.S patients are in successful recovery because of Drug Medi-Cal benefits, “Most of us are living proof of the medical and financial benefits of drug treatment,” says Lisa Roellig, member of the O.A.S.I.S. Clinic’s Activism Committee. “Our Governor and legislators are ignoring the obvious: eliminating funding for Drug Medi-Cal won’t save money – it will add to our deficit and lead to increases in crime and disease transmission.”

§Dr. Diana Sylvestre, O.A.S.I.S, Executive Director
by Bill Hackwell
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§Petitioning on Broadway
by Bill Hackwell
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§No Cuts to Drug Medi-Cal!
by Bill Hackwell
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§Passing out Flyers
by Bill Hackwell
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§Petitioning on 14th
by Bill Hackwell
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§Drug Treatment Saves Lives!
by Bill Hackwell
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§Support on the Street
by Bill Hackwell
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§No Cuts to Drug Medi-Cal
by Bill Hackwell
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§Oasis Community Clinic
by Bill Hackwell
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OASIS, a community-based not-for-profit medical clinic located in Oakland, is a national leader in the care of underserved patients with serious medical conditions like addictions, hepatitis C, and HIV. Its patients and peer educators are recognized statewide for their education, outreach and advocacy efforts.
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To Drug Medi-Cal!
Thu, Sep 9, 2010 6:33AM
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