To the Editor:
Dr. Mark Paulsen's recent article regarding substance abuse from an emergency room perspective was both timely and enlightening. It could have been written decades ago as well, if not centuries.
Many an actor, musician, celebrity has found out too late that drugs and alcohol don't mix. Names like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Jones, Moon, Belushi come to mind. People from a time before the word "party" was used as a verb.
Less known were the everyday folks: students, waiters, athletes, cooks, carpenters, wives, husbands, girlfriends, children, whose names you wouldn't recognize, or maybe you would. Not to mention the suicides and hopelessness that can arise in people who have made getting "high" their first love.
Living in tourist towns as we do, people come here to be entertained: to ski, to eat, to drink, to socialize, that's all well and good. However, the old joke was, "Come to Grand county on vacation, go home on probation." Let's not encourage that.
My mother (now in her 80s) told me years ago that the heavy drinker/smoker types drop like flies in their 50s. She was right. What was fun to them when they were young turned into a monkey on their back, and in some cases a gorilla. All their talents - music, athletics, professions progressively got "one upped" by something else.
To some, Grand County is the end of the road; a good place to drink and drug themselves to death as any. To others, we're here because we love it, with our friends, families, and lifestyles.