Capitol drinking is a problem

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Because the legislators have made it clear that their ethics related to the use of alcohol are unique from those of any other United States citizen, I have adapted the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) to our legislators' special circumstances.

Do you believe you drink more than other people?

Do your constituents worry or complain about your drinking?

Have you ever felt bad about your drinking or tried to justify it by letting someone get fired?

Do your constituents think you drink more than other people?

Do you have trouble stopping when you want to, or feel you must drink at work?

Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous?

Has drinking ever created problems between you and your constituents?

Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?

Have you ever neglected your obligations, your family, or your work for two or more days in a row because you were drinking?

Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?

Have you ever been in the hospital because of drinking?

Have you ever been arrested even for a few hours because of drinking?

Have you ever been arrested for drunk driving or driving after drinking?

If you answered yes to two of the above questions, you may have a drinking problem. If you answered yes to three of them, you probably do. If you need to drink, you need to quit.

How many serious social and medical problems are caused in Alaska by alcohol consumption? Do the legislators really believe that they can competently represent the people with a gin and tonic in their hands? If drinking is to be allowed at the Capitol then it should not be restricted to any elite group. Every employee in that building, even the security guards, and every visitor should be given free access to spirits. Indeed, this will solve the problem of where people who are not welcome at the Glory Hole should go. All those poor people out on the street should be invited in to have a drink with their alcoholic peers.

J. Steven Reese

Juneau



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