Positive examples needed
By Bruce Dixon
April 25, 2006
It is awesome to see that Ketchikan is finally looking at things
like parental influence and costs of drug use to families and
the community! When it comes to drug use, it has been shown that
smoking cigarettes is by far the deadliest drug of all. It is
also well documented that if one parent or both smoke, it is
likely that the children will smoke as well. This is true of
course with all drugs.
It is time that smoking in public places in Ketchikan be restricted
further for the health benefits of all. I attended a training
in Anchorage recently put on by the Alaska Native Health Board.
Americans for Non-smoker's Rights made a clear connection to
the reduction of teen use of nicotine when a non-smoking ordinance
and an increase of cigarette tax was put into effect. We have
seen in recent years that many on the City and Borough councils
are not supporters of this. To those that are - a thousand thanks.
It is a sad fact that there are billions in sales of the two
legal drugs and many in the community profit from this.
It is honorable that the Ketchikan Indian Community and The Ketchikan
General Hospital have made their premises smoke-free.
Let us not stop there.
Parents may lecture their children about drug use and consequences
but the children often follow the example, not the advice. I
have talked to many youth that have gotten one form of drug or
another from their parents and some parents even use with their
children. Some seem to have hung on to values about drug use
that were common in the nineteen sixties and seventies, sadly
It is a huge step to be familiar with the idea that treatment
may be necessary for a teen or someone caught drunk driving or
dealing drugs, however our region (South East) has the highest
alcohol sales rates in the State and the Nation, as stated by
our former State Alcohol and Drug Division Director, Ernie Turner.
At the time (2001) it was about 4 gallons of alcohol per man
woman and child per annum. It does not take a rocket scientist
to figure out that this applies to other drugs as well. Our community
needs more people who will stand up to those who sell drugs and
let them know that we will not tolerate their selling drugs to
We need to show our youth that there is more to do in Ketchikan
than use alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs by doing other things
ourselves. Be strong, our community needs your positive example!
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Near-lifetime citizen
who has a history of substance abuse and has been working in
the field of addiction and recovery for the past 15 years.
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