Insensitive to the addiction prone

Insensitive to the addiction prone

To the Editor:

A quick glance in your Calendar section (under 12-Step Programs) will show that each week, there are more than 40 local meetings and gatherings to support sobriety.

Here’s a quote from Gywn McAllister’s Times article [Treating drug, alcohol abuse on Martha’s Vineyard, November 16, 2011]: “Dukes County (Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands) has historically had the highest rate of substance abuse in the state, according to Tom Bennett, executive director of the Island Counseling Center of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS). In a conversation last week, Mr. Bennett, who has been with Community Services for 41 years, said, ‘It’s a huge problem on this Island. Addiction is something that we are really struggling to meet the needs of in our fold constantly.’ ”

And yet, here in the deep of winter, one section of your newspaper featured a front-page, larger-than-life photo of an alcoholic drink — and nothing else. There was simply no avoiding it. This week, anyone visiting your website for news or information will be confronted by a photo of marijuana plants filling the homepage screen. Again, impossible to avoid.

Vineyard winters are a difficult time for many people. Some folks are isolated, some are struggling financially due to the seasonal economy, some are suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder. All of these factors are compounded in January and make it easier to fall into addictive patterns for relief. Please, have a little sensitivity to the community that you aim to serve, including those who are working hard every day to stay sober and reclaim their lives from addiction.

Jamie O’Gorman



  1. Now its the newspapers fault for addiction on the island. Its always someone else’s fault. Seymour Hoffman doesn’t marry, has three kids, abandons his partner, has fame and wealth and its the drug dealers fault. Can J O;Gorman tell us why the islands have so much addiction. Could it be that people with addictive personalities come here to try to make a fast buck because no one holds them accountable here? I will have sympathy for those who recognize they are lost and repent and make amends and push for their own rehabilitation. To suggest that pictures in newspapers are causative would for the liberals also mean Hollywood has taken a huge toll on our youngsters. Get them to admit that. Secularism is a pernicious lie because it assumes no authority for the individual. Lets realize our full potential of self actualization in the hierarchy of needs says the world and then we get this.

    1. Gee, you mean I was being conned by that cute Bud advertisement with the puppy and horse at the Super Bowl? Just joking g. As always, great comment.