To the Editor

August 5, 2014

By Contributor

Decision 2014

Letter lacked substance

Margo Campbell used the letters to the editor to write a free campaign ad. I hope the readers of the press can recognize this letter for what it is.

Policy issues need in-depth discussion, and when they are used in the way Campbell has to support one candidate, or party, they create polarization and gridlock. This is not a condemnation on one political party because both Democrats and Republicans use issues this way to win votes. The most important thing needed for a self-governing society is an educated and open-minded citizenry willing to look at issues from all sides.

When a republic avoids self-serving politics, and has the interest of society as a whole, we will have a better society. I am afraid we are generations away from this advancement but that is no reason we cannot work towards it.

Voters, please try to educate yourselves on issues important to you and try to understand other viewpoints than your own, to form a better society, and disregard all campaign vilification.

Greg Larson



Hard lessons

Help keep children off drugs

Last week, as many of you might know, was the funeral for the young soul of just 18 years that we had lost to a heroin overdose. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of this wonderful young man. Looking past the deep sadness that accompanies such a tragic event, what struck me so profoundly were the bicycles laying scattered in the grassy area in front of Flintoft’s funeral home. Kids should not be riding their bikes to a friend’s funeral, and yet here we were.

Anyone who met this young man would describe a kind, bright, soft spoken and caring individual. However when most people envision a victim of overdose they succumb to stereotypes generated by the media, riddled with the stigma and myths associated with substance dependence of a bad individual who needs to get good, rather than a sick individual who needs help. It seems that is changing, as we are exposed to so many stories about the disease of addiction and tragedies related to its progression.

Like so many communities around the country, we are experiencing the most tragic of outcomes of this healthcare crisis. Substance use disorders impact about 10 percent -15 percent of our population. However, the societal impact related to the lack of prevention and substance use disorder treatment often wreaks havoc on communities and school resources. When our eyes are wide open we can see clearly the progression this reality takes. We watch as adolescent curiosity and experimentation devastates some, as they can find no way out of the compulsion and obsession to keep using substances.

As we grieve, and hold our own children a bit tighter, perhaps we will share in the community responsibility of caring for these vulnerable souls, let them know they matter, and that they are not alone.

No more bikes at funerals.

Jerry Blackburn

Chemical Dependency Professional,  Member, Issaquah Drug-free Community Coalition

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