Letter: Ann Martin

From: Ann Martin


There has been much speculation lately about how to control the heroin problem that has been increasing throughout the country, Indiana being no exception.

Yes, there is a drug problem. And yes, there is a big drug problem here in Columbus; has been for a very long time. With the location of Columbus allowing easy access to the interstate, nearby airport, close proximity of a major college campus, several large cities within easy driving distance, numerous schools, high income, illegal residents, it’s way past time for Columbus to take off the blinders and acknowledge what has been going on for years.

However, one major contributing factor to the drug craze in this town is the unconscionable availability of alcohol.

Unlike heroin, meth and illegally obtained opioids, alcohol is legal and therefore in plentiful supply everywhere. People use all sorts of excuses to imbibe, unwind after a stressful day, be more relaxed and “fun” at social gatherings, steady nerves before a stressful event, try to drink their sorrows away, numb pain … the list goes on.

While the staggering drunk is often the brunt of jokes, there is nothing amusing about the destruction left in the path of the alcohol drinker. When someone overdoses on heroin, while very sad for those left behind, usually the only person who succumbs to the effects of the drug is the drug user. However, consuming alcohol is seen by society as not only legal but more or less socially acceptable.

There isn’t near the outcry from legislators, health care advocates, various pundits, etc. about the horrific violence, abuse, financial ruin, absenteeism, disease, self-loathing and killing of innocent people by a drunken driver as there is in jumping on the bandwagon against illegal drug use.

Only one conclusion can be drawn from the lack of focusing on the huge availability of alcohol: Those who might be in a position to bring attention to alcohol abuse don’t want to run the risk of losing their own easy access to it. Some of the very ones who scream “prescription drug abuse” or “heroin epidemic” think nothing of getting soused on liquor themselves.

Education about the horrors of drug abuse should begin at home. But parents who have alcohol in the home and/or regularly go out to drink haven’t got a leg to stand on.

Parents, do you honestly think your kids will listen to your warnings about drugs if your cabinets are stocked with booze at home? Drug abuse often begins with trying alcohol first.

Depriving responsible, law-abiding people of a simple sinus medication (used in meth) or doctor-supervised use of prescription pain medication is not going to solve the drug problem. People who are stupid enough to abuse drugs will find other ways to feed their addictions.

Using drugs illegally to get high is a choice, not a disease. With all of the information that’s available, there is no excuse for not knowing what the results of drug abuse will be.