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It’s painful to witness the effects of alcoholism in Ketchikan.
You might have seen the young woman who is sufficiently intoxicated that she fell face first onto the cement sidewalk.
Or the middle-aged man passed out in the alley from too much drinking.
Maybe you’ve been approached by the obviously intoxicated person who asks for a couple bucks. What for? More drinks.
All of this can be seen in a matter of hours in our community’s downtown.
Law enforcement authorities witness it day after day at all hours and in all seasons. The court system, judging by the public record, deals with it routinely. The hospital. The jail. That’s where these people go or are taken.
And it’s not only the public display of too much drink. It’s happening in private places, too.
Alcoholism costs the community, in terms of responding to alcohol-related cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nationally, it’s billions of dollars. In 2010, it had a $249 billion economic cost in the United States.
It also costs lives, relationships, careers and respect, to name only a few.
Ketchikan isn’t the only community dealing with alcoholism. It’s not just a state problem. It’s national.
Alcoholism is a scourge requiring year-round community, state and national awareness, prevention, response and success — success in freeing the addicted from alcoholism.
April is Alcoholism Awareness Month. In awareness is the beginning of the solution to the problem.