Letter: Replace the bad with the good

Editor of the Reformer:

I have been reading the Brattleboro newspaper for 65 plus years and I've always had a lot of interest in the letters in the letter box section, especially the letters from writers who want to blame someone else or their personal problems.

The latest one, being from a parent, who wants to blame the Vermont Legislature for the drug addiction of her loved one. She does seem to believe that the local police (or the state police) should put addicts who commit crime straight into a jail cell and keep them there until they come up for a court hearing. There are not enough jails in any country to hold these kinds of petty criminals.

In the same letter, the writer states that addiction is a "brain disease" and needs to be treated as such. Can the police then commit the addict to a hospital or a place like the Brattleboro Retreat and hold them there for an indefinite period? I don't believe so. I don't believe any of us want our state or country's governing body to pass laws supporting such an idea either.

There are many reasons why certain persons become addicts. Lately, our own doctors are being blames for opioid addictions, but this can be corrected. I believe that some addicts start our innocently enough telling themselves they'll try marijuana or a lite beer because all of their friends are doing it, or maybe a couple stiff drinks, or maybe the parents think it's cool to throw a drug party for their teenagers and all their friends so they'll be the most popular house on the street.

Unfortunately, drugs affect everyone differently; most of the people who push the envelope and try things they know they shouldn't, don't get addicted. But the ones who find that their addiction makes them feel better than they ever felt in their lives need more and more and stronger and stronger. It makes all the pain of their childhood and adolescent years go away. Pretty soon they are kicked out in the street by the every parent who supplied the drugs and they are living among all the other addicts and pretty criminals who don't have a home either. Life is out of control for the whole family and the blame games starts.

Most of us never took drugs or drank more than a social drink because we have strong, loving, family support and know that family will always be there for us. We don't need to become addicted to anything because our lives are happy.

If this was my loved one, I would hug her and hold her close and let her know she is the most important thing in my life no matter what she has done. I would always be there for her, I would give her all that I could possibly give her and she can always count on me for support. I cannot imagine any scenario that would make me give up on my daughter no matter what she has done or will do. If she is in that much pain and hurt that she can't come to me, we might as well both be dead. Why didn't the loved one knock on the door, telephone, twitter or anything to the writer know what she needed? Would that have a made a difference, or did the addict already know that she would get nothing?

From my own experiences, I have every sympathy for the local police, social service agencies, the State Police and support groups who need to deal with addictions every day of their working lives, but I don't think the addict is going to get much help from any of them when their own loves ones keep pushing and kicking them back into the painful life they're trying to escape from. My own belief is that the memory and misery that is in the brain of an addict needs to be erased by love and replaced by love to actually do their "diseased brain" any longtime good.

Marianne Hull Dickenson

Keene, N.H., Oct. 31


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