Letter to the editor: Solving alcohol problems takes compassion, deterrentsMy heart hurts for everyone connected with the two accidents (on Interstate 94 and at Lake Metigoshe) that claimed seven lives (yes, the unborn baby counts).
By: Kathryn Berry-Koppang , The Jamestown Sun
My heart hurts for everyone connected with the two accidents (on Interstate 94 and at Lake Metigoshe) that claimed seven lives (yes, the unborn baby counts). Hopefully the jolting tragedies along with the acknowledgement that North Dakota has ‘A sobering problem’ (July 10 Sun headline) will facilitate a renewed battle against our drinking culture. The article acknowledged that our efforts have failed. From 2000-2010 the number of driving fatalities related to alcohol consumption in North Dakota increased by 20.9 percent (source: The Century Council). Minnesota and South Dakota saw declines in those numbers (45 percent and 48.9 percent respectively). There’s something different about North Dakota. It’s time to do some soul searching to get to the heart of the problem. Somehow we need to reverse the rampant abuse of substances among both adults and youth.
Perhaps it’s time we take a hard look at the spiritual health of our community along with some practical things like our need to increase addiction treatment and after-care programs. We need compassionate care along with tough deterrents for minor offenders and for those who drink and drive.
I have more questions than answers but I know someone with infinite wisdom. Perhaps our best response is to pray for God’s guidance as we seek solutions to this serious problem. It’s no coincidence that the term “spirits” is used to describe alcohol since addiction to it is a spiritual problem. Therefore, might it not be wise for us to launch a concerted effort to pray for a revival to sweep this community and this state?