SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



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 were causing.

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 drug user/abuser.

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.

Kayleigh Martin
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Kayleigh Martin has been a resident of Ketchikan for 20 years.


Related Viewpoint:

letter RE: Twilight zone By Catlin Rettke - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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