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Indybay Feature

OASIS Community Clinic Delivers 4000 Petitions To Save Drug Medi-Cal Programs

by Bill Hackwell (hckwll [at] yahoo.com)
After attempts to meet with Governor Schwarzenegger were met with silence, activist patients from OASIS community clinic in Oakland delivered 4,000 petitions to his office that call for no cuts to Drug Medi-Cal. The governor’s unresponsiveness is just one more example of how addicts with few resources are ignored when they ask for help. “People don’t think we can organize ourselves because we are bunch of junkies,” says Orlando Chavez a member of the Oasis Activism Committee. “Well they are wrong – and now that we have benefited from treatment we’re here to make sure others can do the same.”
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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. “Cutting Drug Medi-Cal benefits will eliminate access to care for many people currently engaged or needing drug treatment” said Dr. Diana Sylvestre, Executive Director of the OASIS Clinic. “It is incredibly short sighted and costly while making our neighborhoods less safe”

Today's action by the OASIS Clinic in Sacramento was in conjunction with a budget cuts demonstration at the the state capitol called by the Health and Human Services Budget Network.
§4000 Petitions Say NO to Drug Medi-Cal Benefits
by Bill Hackwell
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§Patients Standing Up for Health
by Bill Hackwell
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§Petitions From All Over the State
by Bill Hackwell
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§Sacramento To Cut Programs for the People Who Need Them the Most
by Bill Hackwell
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§Drug Treatment Saves Lives!
by Bill Hackwell
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Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Our Sacramento Partners!
O.A.S.I.S. Clinic Activism Committee wants to thank our partners in Sacramento for making the "No Cuts to Drug Medi-Cal!" petition action at the Capitol such a success. O.A.S.I.S. Clinic was joined by patients and staff of C.O.R.E. Medical Clinic, Garrett Stenson, director. Leslie Benson, President of the CalHep Alliance and Paul Sousa from C.O.R.E. Medical Clinic and the S.T.O.P. Hepatitis Task-Force.
by Earl Richards
Chevron gouged $24 billions in excessive profits in 2008, as per http://www.tyrannyofoil.com. Schwarzenegger should put an excessive profits tax on these profits, instead of protecting the oil corporations from fair taxation, then, there would be sufficient public funds for all the vulnerable, people programs. Big business lost the fight to eliminate domestic violence funding, so now they are coming back with a vengeance. There is no funding provision for battered women shelters in the May Revise. Schwarzee picks on the most vulnerable, and not on corporate tax "deadbeats."
by Oakland Action
O.A.S.I.S. Clinic hit the streets of downtown Oakland last week to protest the proposed cuts to Drug Medi-Cal.


http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/08/18658262.php

by Orlando Chavez
These cuts are not only ineffective, they are downright dangerous to clients and even moreso to the community. People who go to clinics are trying to recover. Even the police, correctional officials and prosecutors are telling the Governor and his lockstep allies this is a BAD idea and hardly a solution. It's like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. We need real budget solutions, not polically expedient attacks on defenseless constituents, driven by panic, fear and ignorance.
by Tamella Jean Perkins (tamale10 [at] att.net)
I want to say simply and honestly how Methadone Maintenance Treatment has saved my life. I am now fifty-two years old and for someone like me, that is a MIRACLE! Back in the eighties I started to inject street heroin and methamphetamines. Not long after that I start feeling sick most of the time. I did not find out until 1993, that I exposed myself to hepatitis C. Because of the way I felt about going to Drs., I may have never found out that I had it. It was when I got on methadone that I was tested specifically for the Hep C virus; nonA nonB hepatitis. I had been tested for hepatitis at different times to try to find out why; and even while I was clean that I felt so sick all the time. There was nothing in the world except for maybe death itself, that would have stopped me from using opiate drugs. Methadone kept that needle out of my arm and it has been so long that I have used intraveneous drugs that I can't even remember. It has been at least 13 years. And believe me there has been many opportunities. And not using intraveneously is just one reason to keep Medi-Cal Methadone Maintenance available to the public. The desperate people who can't afford to buy it will resort to crime to keep themselves feeling better. So, please take these things into consideration before you cut a good program.
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