SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



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 enough.

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 our children.

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!

Bruce Dixon
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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