STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT DRUGS COLUMN

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT DRUGS

These stories originally appeared in a bi-monthly column I wrote titled “Straight Talk About Drugs,” published in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin newspaper from October 2001 to September 2003 and from October 2012 to November 2013. In this section of my blog I reprint many of these columns, most of which focus on real-life stories featuring individuals who have struggled with alcohol and/or other drug problems and their family members.  Many of these stories center on my experiences with youth, ages 11-18, at the Walla Walla Juvenile Justice Center, where I have volunteered for 20 years.

Twenty-two million Americans need help.  More than 100 million family members are directly affected by addiction and at least that many people -- teachers, coaches, pastors, neighbors, friends -- are swept into the grief, guilt, and confusion caused by what AA's co-founder Bill Wilson called a "cunning, baffling" disease. My hope is that these stories will offer some insight into this confounding disease and help people see and understand that they are not alone.