Overuse of pills is responsible for drug plagueIf anyone...

the Forum

September 02, 1994

Overuse of pills is responsible for drug plague

If anyone wonders who is to blame for our nation's drug problems, we can point the finger at ourselves.

Thanks to advertising, we have become obsessively alert to the slightest twinge and tic in our bodies.

If we have a headache, we take a pill. Backache? Take a drug. Can't fall instantly asleep? Take a drug. Feeling depressed? Take a drug. Overweight? Take a drug.

When a kid can't sit still in school or doesn't pay attention to what we're telling him, put him on drugs. Never mind that children were never intended to sit in a chair all day.

At the other end of the scale, every elderly person I know puts away a fist full of pills daily.

I was taught that the reason the human race has survived this long is that we have always been able to adapt to different climates, diets and all sorts of physical changes.

Maybe we should stop trying to feel perfect every minute of the day and night.

Michael Kernan

Baltimore

Expensive nail

Gosh, I'm glad I caught your editorial on Aug. 27. I've been wondering why the crime bill was passed. I've heard lots of excuses but no reasons, and there it was, right there in your editorial.

I knew the assault weapons ban was just an excuse, because assault weapons are statistically irrelevant to the crime picture; 100,000 police is also an excuse, because if the cities and states had the matching funds, the police would already be on the streets.

The social programs are also just an excuse. A few more billion on top of the trillions we've already spent on social programs in the Great Society would be invisible.

Also, you clearly pointed out that the death penalties are just an excuse.

But there it was, in the fifth paragraph, the real reason, the genuine reason for the crime bill.

We have just spent $30 billion to drive another nail in the National Rifle Association's coffin. I wonder how many more nails we can afford?

John Cullom

Catonsville

City contrasts

After two short months, the mayor has determined that Baltimore is dirty; after seven long years, the city remains gripped by an alcohol and drug abuse epidemic.

The mayor chooses to get Baltimore clean; 43,000 addicted men and women in Baltimore are dying for the same opportunity. Why?

ichael Bradley

Owings Mills

'Jockocracy'

Our society has become enthralled with games. Many of our "heroes" are athletes. Not since the days of the games on the plain of Olympia has the athlete been held in such esteem.

Is there not something wrong with a culture that compensates these individuals with such obscene sums to play games?

The multitudes that spend their hard-earned dollars to witness athletic exhibitions are free to do so. But what of the consumer who must, of necessity, patronize the sponsors of such events? They are involuntarily subsidizing a "jockocracy."

What percentage of the cost of a beverage, hamburger or automobile finds its way into the pockets of the professional athlete and his employer via the advertising agency's television or radio budget?

The system is rigged to favor the athlete and his promoters, and it will never change. There are too many hogs at the trough.

. Bernard Hihn

Baltimore

Bad ads

L

Should alcohol advertisements be prohibited on television?

Alcohol is a depressant drug which has the capacity to "turn off" certain parts of the brain. When this happens, some brain cells are killed, never to be replaced again.

Alcohol has caused many problems, such as auto deaths. Family and employers have had serious problems with ones who continue to drink and tend to make excuses.

I know there are plenty of lobbyists in Washington standing guard to oppose anyone who might take action against allowing TV advertisements to be prohibited.

Alice Carmody

Baltimore

No addiction

I am writing to comment on your Aug. 22 article, "Cybernauts' on-line lives can lead to 'net' addiction."

I would like to point out that while there are many users who JTC spend a great deal of their time on the net, it is by no means an addiction, scarcely more so than individuals who spend a lot of time reading their newspaper, calling friends, writing letters and going to parties.

I would categorize this article as misguiding sensationalism. The author makes no mention of the millions of Americans who are "addicted" to television and spend as much time in front of a television as the most dedicated Internet user.

The Internet is an interactive social forum, and its usage indicates at least the user's basic level of computer literacy, which is obviously lacking in most "couch potatoes."

Omar Siddique

Baltimore

Planning a practical linear park

I hope the most recent proposal for a bike and hike trail in Leakin/Gwynns Falls Park is examined before any concrete is poured. It was clearly drawn with no practical consideration made as to geography, history, ecology or efficiency.

Perhaps it, like so many other past park "improvements," is an excuse to spend money and/or cut trees. . . . Questions abound.

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