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Letter: Society winking at alcohol as drug

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Jess Shively


To the editor:

I am writing in support of the letter from the Rev. Ed McClure titled “Alcoholic excesses destroy lives.” This letter was published in the Daily Journal on Nov. 15.

I agree wholeheartedly with his comments. It is interesting to note that on that same day, your newspaper published a nearly full-page story extolling a new nanobrewery in Greenwood.

Recently, I issued a challenge to a leading media outlet in Indiana to conduct an in-depth investigation of the effect of the personal and family lives and society as a whole, due to the use of alcohol. Excerpts of that letter follow.

“We condemn the use of other drugs and constantly point out their effect on our lives. Yet, we turn our head and wink about the most commonly used drug in our society today: alcohol. Yes, it is a drug.

“Every day in the media we hear references to murders, traffic crashes and deaths related to alcohol consumption. I believe it is high time that you, as a responsible media outlet conduct, a serious study concerning this tremendous problem and report it to your readers. In the meantime, there continues to be consideration to extending the sale of this most commonly used drug. Stand up and expose this problem for what it is.

“Is the media afraid to tackle the alcohol industry and the lives that it destroys? There seemed to be no fear of taking on the tobacco industry. Are there too many people in the media who like their booze? Do we consider the alcohol industry ‘too big to fail?’

“Every time we turn on our TV, we are barraged with advertisements about the virtues of alcohol. Is this not what we saw with tobacco use at one time? Think about it.

“The next alcohol-related death could be a member of your family. I have some first-hand knowledge concerning the ravages brought about by this drug. I have a brother and brother-in-law who died prematurely because of their addiction to alcohol.

“I am not advocating prohibition. I merely suggest increasing the tax significantly on alcohol and its use, just as was done with tobacco. Correct me if I am wrong, but it did not reduce use? Just go get the facts and do your investigative report. I hope that you have the intestinal fortitude to meet this problem head on.”

As I expected, my request for an investigative report about the excessive use of alcohol was denied. However, only last week, the lead story in this media outlet was about 14 deaths “potentially” related to the consumption of high-energy drinks. Does this not pale to the family and economic destruction and deaths from alcohol use?

So, I am asking you, the Daily Journal, to accept the challenge that was rejected by another media outlet and complete this very important task. I hope that you will do so.

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