Letter to the Editor: Paula Devansky

Township resident addresses fellow resident’s concerns regarding sober living house.

To the Editor,

I have never submitted a Letter to the Editor. Today, I read one in the Sun that I am moved to respond to. It was regarding mail in ballots and specifically singled out a Sober Living House by address. The letter implied the residents of the house were a threat to her ballot, and perhaps a threat in general.

Sober Living Houses are residences that are alcohol and drug free environments for individuals seeking to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Residents are in recovery from the disease of substance use disorder. In May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association issued the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual establishing criteria for substance use disorders based on research and clinical knowledge. Substance Use Disorder is a disease and classified as such.

In addition, Sober Living Houses have criteria for acceptance, and continued residence. This is not to say there is perfection. But there is no perfection in any home, or any neighborhood.

I sincerely doubt the writer would have any issue with a house supporting people recovering from cancer. I believe the writer was simply ignorant and this letter providing facts enables her to have some understanding. And hopefully some empathy.

I find it very inappropriate the writer included the Sober Living House address. My impression was her dissatisfaction with the situation. Nevertheless, it was not only in poor taste, but disrespectful of the house residents and her neighbors. All are entitled to a level of privacy.

Lastly, the residents of the Sober Living house have the right to vote. It’s ridiculous to think there would be interest in touching her ballot when they have their own.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

Paula Devansky

Moorestown, NJ