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« Are we there yet? | Main | That's 39 but who's counting! »

08 August 2006

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Jane

There IS hope, but... Hyperion is a favorite hang-out for many groups, recovering members of Alcoholics Aonymous in particular. Many of the "homeless" or "nearly so" that buzz by there are practicing alocholics and/or drug addicts. The disease of addiction takes otherwise normal, even classy, people to places they never dreamed they'd be. Like rummaging for smokeable cigarette butts while nursing yet another hangover. Society doesn't usually take kindly to this behavior, and rightfully so. I've witnessed the owner of Hyperion calling the police on one rather young person who loitered around the sidewalks of Hyperion repeatedly, bumming change and cigarettes. It makes all of us uncomfortable. Except maybe those recovering alcoholics who happen to be having coffee. They might contribute a cigarette. Is all of this a shame? Yes. Because there IS hope, but only in sobriety. Even the local homeless shelter will not accept residents who have been drinking or drugging. Unfortunately, the desire to be sober lies solely within the very person who is affected by the only disease that will tell him he doesn't have a disease. A vicious, vicious circle. Remember, though, that alcoholism takes full and complete advantage of everyone. The practicing alcoholic will take and take and take from you and never get help. Our reactions to these people are varied, but rarely positive. And we should not encourage the behavior. Sometimes the hope will not begin for them until we take several giant steps back and allow people to bottom out. Food for thought, huh? Nice piece, Jim.

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