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August 11, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-08-11

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Summer Daily
Summer Edition of
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan,
Saturday, August 11, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
WATERGATE WEARILY winds to a welcome windup--
at least for a while.
Constitutional crisis creates chasm between congres-
sional committee and corrupt cabal controlling the coun-
Drooping dollar drops drastically down the drain. De-
valuation dilemma drives delerious Down Jones directors
to drink.
CAMBODIA CONTINUES to be characterized by callous
carnage caused by careless U. S. carriers.
Here at the 'U,' profs peddle pernicious packages of
pages and pocket the profits.
Tuition towers tumultously twisting and turning to
the top. Tearful tots try to tell terrible tale to elders who
react by tumbling to the turf.
SWEATY SUMMER students simmer sous the scintillat-
ing sun, sipping scotch and sodas, skipping school
and smiling with satisfied smirks.
In Motown-the guru gets pelted with a pie in the
puss. Peace persists, perhaps.
Battling Bengals boldly blow past Bronx bombers in
barn burner baseball.
MEANWHILE "Hammerin' Hank" hits homers from here
to Harrisburg.
Finally depressing doldrums drive ding-a-ling editor-
ial director to dump dozens of dumb alliterations on Daily

Octagon House: Dealing with all
facets of the local drUUg problem

Most people have the habit of
stopping when they see the red
and white octagonal stop sign.
Octagon House, 219 E. Washing-
ton in Ann Arbor and 11 N. Hamil-
ton in Ypsilanti, helps some peo-
ple-opiate drug-users-stop their
Octagon House offers individual
drug counseling, a methadone
clinic, group therapy and job
counseling in its range of services
to its "clients." Some of its clients
are referred by other area counsel-
ing organizations; most come from
the streets.
black male, single and unemploy-
ed, about 22 years old, and a
heroin user for 2.5 to 3.3 years.
There is no monopoly on hard drug
use by the young; 28 per cent of
the 1972 clients were over 30, and
the age range extends to 55 years
of age.
The federally-funded program in-
cludes a staff of 12 counselors, two
psychiatrists and six medical per-
sonnel, and full-time physician and
job counselor, who are divided be-
tween the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor
The staff works with the clients
individually and in groups with one
goal in mind. "We want the clients
to be able to contribute to the
community, t o t al ly drug-free,"
states the director, Richard Gil-
more. "But we don't have a strict
definition of what it means to 'con-
tribute to the community.' We
don't force anyone to take a job
or go to school. We accept alter-
nate life styles."
is to get them off what they're
using," says Octagon counselor
Ronald Robinson. Robinson carries
a case load of 15 clients, dealing
with the client from the time the
client applies to the program until
the cilent completes the program.
Robinson counsels to achieve total
rehabilitation of the addict. "You
have to begin by reacquainting the
client with reality," he adds.
Octagon House screens prospec-
tive clients carefully before ad-
mitting them to the program. Each
applicant is extensively questioned
on amount and frequency of drug
intake and medically tested. Al-

though heroin is the primary drug
dealt with, Octagon House also
tests for use of amphetamines,
barbiturates, codeine and cocaine
The applicant must be a resident
of Washtenaw County or a transfer
from another program to qualify.
Once accepted, each cilent must
sign an informed consent form and
is given a photo-identification with
duplicate card kept on file. Coded
numbers are used instead of names
for the client's protection. All
records are strictly confidential.
Says Robinson, "That's one of the
primary needs."
methadone is systematic and care-
fully monitored by the staff. Each
client's identification card is check-
ed against the file and the client
must sign daily for his dosage. A
sign on the wall reads, "Absolute-
ly no hats or sunglasses worn on
the premises."
As part of the confidentiality, the
clients themselves don't know the
amounts of their dosage of metha-
done. Says one, "Knowing how
much you need brings on psycho .
logical hang-ups about how bad off
you are."
The basic goal of the methadone
program is detoxification-getting
off heroin with methadone and
then withdrawing from methadone.
The dosages of methadone dis-
pensed by Octagon House are
weaker than those prescribed in
the larger cities where the metha-
done programs originated.
"The quality of heroin is weaker
in Michigan than in New York, for
example, or other larger cities,"
explains Director Gilmore. "That
means weaker doses of methadone
are required, and less methadone
minimizes the problems of with-
drawal later on."
OCTAGON HOUSE puts an equal
emphasis on follow-up. An effort is
made to identify and recontact
those who don't complete the pro-
gram. For those that do success-
fully complete detoxification, Oc-
tagon House can help with a varie-
ty of opportunities. Further school-
ing can be arranged for interested,
motivated clients at Washtenaw
Community College. Counselors can
work on family problems and a pos-
sible return to the family situation.
And an effort is made to find jobs
for those clients that want them
and need them.
For many clients in the program,
money is a problem, often connect-
ed with tuition for school. John
Payne, Octagon's full-time job de-
veloper, works with area em-
ployers to find jobs that fit clients'
interests and skills. The funda-
mental problem is in educating em-
players who are conditioned to
avoid the risk of an employee with
a past history of drug use or ad-
"It's hard for the employer to
relate to heroin," says Payne.

Payne stresses honesty between
employer and employe, including
full disclosure of the client's back-
ground. "We're trying to create a
successful situation for t h e s e
people," explains Payne. "They've
never been able to tell the truth be-
fore without getting hurt for it."
Octagon House provides job coun-
seling, training in practical j ob
expertise and training in personal
grooming, self-confidence and even
suggestions on handling job inter-
The Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti of-
fices are both casual and comfort-
able without ostentation. There is
adequate space, perhaps only slight
crowding in narrow hall-ways, but
plenty of room for recreation and
socializing. "We don't emphasize
bureaucracy," says Director Gil-
Albert Odum, senior counselor at
the Ypsilanti shop, agrees. "The
building is the client's house. If
we tell him not to wear his sun-
glasses here, it's because he would
not do that at home."
THE YPSILANTI office is a busy,
noisy place of social activity. Half
a dozen people played pool and
talked inside, while an undeter-
mined number wandered in and
out. Phil Mosby, a counselor in
Ypsilanti, feels this is an import-
ant part of the program. 'We
encourage people to come here
and interact with others to keep
them off the streets."
Octagon approaches the hard
drug problem with guidance, coun-
seling, medical aid, and develop-
ment of client self-awareness. Most
important, Octagon's approach has
been successful.
There are approximately 120
clients now in the program. In the
first year of Octagon's operation,
58 per cent of its clients became
totally free of all drugs, according
to program directors. Octagon's
program has a saving quality; in
terms of dollars the program sav-
ed the Ann Arbor community $2,-
519,220 during the 1972 fiscal ner-
iod, based on the estimated value
of property exnerts say would have
been lost through drug-relited
crimees. There is no known scale
on which to measure Octagon's
saving effect on the lives of its
AND OCrAGON Ilouse is still
growing; the addition of a nirt-
time lawyer is nearly a reality, as
well as the addition of a new med-
ical clinic to serve the clients and
their immediate families. O n e
counselor mentioned a long-range
idea for a live-in, drug free thera-
peutic community.
A sign on the wall across from
the methadone dispensary gives a
small list of mother-like admoni-
tions on personal grooming with a
small note to one side that reids,
"love yourself." Says Gilmore,
"We're a big family."

Summer Slaff


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Letters to
Tax explained
To The Daily:
be served notice that I owe the
U.S. Government over $1300 in
Federal income taxes for 1972. In
order to avoid any misunderstand-
ing about this matter, I should like
to reiterate my position.
I have not voluntarily paid any
Federal income taxes since May
1, 1970 nor have I voluntarily paid
the Federal excise tax on my tele-
phone since 1965. Over the past
10 years, I have expressed my op-
position to this nation's military
activities - particularly in South
East Asia - in numerous ways.
With the announcement of the in-
vasion of Cambodia on April 30,
1970, I determined that I could
no longer permit my tax money to
be used for financial support of ac-
tivities carried out in my name
to which I was, and am, unalter-
ably opposed.
Each year since that time, I have
filed a return showing how much
money I owe. And periodically,
since that time, the Internal Re-
venue Service has collected the
money I owe by levies on either
my bank account or my salary.
Thus, the levy which wil be serv-
ed on the County is nothing new.

The Daily
The government has been forced to
collect my taxes in this manner
since I will not give them the mon-
ey voluntarily.
At present, about two-thirds mf
my federal tax dollars - a n d
those of all taxpayers in this coun-
try-are used to support people and
institutions whose goal is to de-
stroy and degrade human life here
and in overseas countries. F a r
fewer financial resources are spent
to enhance and improve our lives.
Until the financial priorities of
the government are altered, I shall
continue to withhold voluntary pay-
ment of my Federal tax dollars.
From the outset, I recognize that
this course of action involved ser-
ious risk. But the risk I am tak-
ing is far less than the risk I
would run by giving voluntary fin-
ancial support to activities I con-
sider immoral and some authori-
ties view as illegal. Following any
other course of action would in-
volve betraying my conscience, my
religious beliefs, and the provis-
ions of the Constitution of this land
-far more serious offenses, in my
view, than non-payment of taxes.
-Elizabeth Taylor
Washtenaw County
District 15

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