By Kayleigh Martin
April 26, 2006
I would recommend that Mr. Rettke study up a little on the affects
of addiction and alterations that are made in brain chemistry.
This change in brain chemistry is not the fault of the person,
many don't know that it happens. I read a journal several weeks
ago that put how much a persons way of thinking changes into
perspective. Social Services went to a home where a 4 year old
girl was locked in her room for 3-4 days every week. When the
parents were asked why the said they thought they were being
good parents. They wanted to keep their daughter away from the
drugs and didn't want her to see them use. The mother would leave
the house to go get food for their daughter but because of the
drug craving (created by the drug), lack of attention span (created
by the drug), and the altered perception of responsibility (created
by the drug), she would get side-tracked for days and forget
to go home with the food. They couldn't comprehend the harm they
From what I am interpreting in your letters is that you believe
the majority of the population can be "responsible drug
users". Why then is the SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration) directory of drug and alcohol
treatment programs 717 pages long? To me, this alone says that
there are more factors at work then just choosing to be a responsible
Choosing to use drugs, any drugs, is like playing Russian roulette
with a nail gun. Maybe, just maybe the nail won't go in deep
enough to kill me or cause permanent damage.
Catlin can you please define for me, because I don't know it,
where the line is between being a responsible drug user and being
an irresponsible drug abuser? How do you keep from crossing this
line? How do you make it so that the neurological pathways in
the brain aren't changed by drug use? How do you keep neurotransmitters
and dopamine receptors from dying off from drug use?
You brought up FAS in your last letter and how it's the mother's
fault. Yes I agree with you on that, but, what if the mother
was FAS? Several of the main symptoms of FAS is the inability
to recognize the relationship between action and consequence
and the inability to comprehend anything except for the minute.
So a female FAS person get pregnant, continues drinking because
no matter how many times she is told CANNOT comprehend that drinking
is bad for baby because she CANNOT look 9 months down the road.
So few months later she has a baby girl who is FAS. This pattern
continues. A good book to read that shows this relationship is
"The Broken Cord" by Michael Dorris. Now who's fault
is it? The person that is incapable of realizing action and consequence
or is it because of the alcohol that created the situation in
the first place?
Try working in a withdrawal management unit where you see the
same people over and over again because they CANNOT stop. Mr.
Maki mentioned that 1/3 of the calls KPD goes on are alcohol
related, how many of them are for repeat offenders? It would
also be interesting to find out how many of the cases that are
at the E.R. are alcohol related. I know that in our detox we'll
have up to 4 people in a night at times and E.R. still has more
people that need detoxing.
The only guaranteed healthy choice when it comes to drugs is
the first one, pick it up or not, after that you may not get
the chance for another choice that is not influenced by the affects
of the drug.
Not one person in the drug and alcohol treatment center where
I work chose to be an "irresponsible drug abuser".
They are not bad people, they are not mean, rude, unlikable,
they are some of the best people I have met in my life. No matter
how different they're stories are they are still the same. I
started taking drugs or drinking on the weekends just for "recreational
use" "to escape from the pressures of life" and
then it was, Friday's, Saturday's, and Sunday's, now I can't
stop, I drink or imbibe drugs everyday. Another common phrase
is "I promised myself I would never drink and drive, if
I ever drank and drive I would quit drinking. Now I've had 5
DWI's and can never drive again."
Drugs hijack the brain, might as well say the commercial pilots
are at fault when someone hijacks their plane.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Kayleigh Martin has been a resident of Ketchikan for 20
Twilight zone By Catlin Rettke - Ketchikan, AK - USA
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
Write a Letter -------Read Letters
E-mail the Editor
Stories In The News