‘Damning, Disrespectful, Downright Hateful’

So the Colorado Springs Gazette publishes a report about how the highly respected McMaster Center for Drug and Alcohol, which provides treatment to low-income pregnant women, is abandoning the program.

According to the story, the 37-year old, county-run treatment center in Colorado Springs is one of only two substance abuse programs in Colorado that still receive state funds (the other state-funded program, in Boulder, will remain open). Beginning five years ago, the health department started whittling down its treatment programs, starting with the methadone clinic – and now finishing it off with its cancellation of programs designed to assist pregnant women.

And how did some of the Gazette‘s online readers respond to this news? Keep reading, if you want a good jolt.


Nobody is a victim when its your own CHOICES that put you in your position. Victims are people who cant control what has happened to them. People choose to do drugs, choose to drink, and in most cases choose to have sex. The real victims here are the babies born to these drug addicts! I feel sorry for the babies, but I have no sympathy for these women. We all choose our own paths. And living in America, we all have the opportunity to be educated and make money.

— no sympathy

Don’t knock it! I was making almost as much money as my mom was before I got knocked up. She can suck much harder so to keep up with her I was working my butt off. I deserve some free money to help with my drug problem. I am the victim here.

— Cat

Cat must be one of those crackheads that used to blow bums in the alley until she got knocked up by one then wanted a handout because she forgot to swallow one time. Get a job you pathetic loser and stop living off the taxpayers.

— Brenda

Brenda- I wish your w-h-o-r-e mom would have aborted you.

— Cat

They need to just give those crackheads a free abortion.

— Brenda

Drugs make me sad.

— Tobi

Addy Hansen, a community activist in Colorado Springs whose focus has largely been on substance abuse issues, including dwindling access to drug and alcohol abuse treatment in the state’s second largest city, says she was appalled – but not particularly surprised – when she saw the story and responses.

“The comments are damning, disrespectful, non-compassionate, and just downright hateful,” Hansen wrote in an e-mail.

“It’s not that Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, has suddenly had the problem of substance abuse among its citizenry (magically? suddenly? finally?) disappear – it’s just that people (of this area) aren’t interested in the problem enough any longer to work to provide help, care, treatment and assistance to those folks.”

Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at cdegette@coloradoconfidential.com

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