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September 13, 2006

Costly alcohol abuse

Diane Stafford wrote a good column on the effects of alcohol abuse by employees (9/7, Business, “A costly, tragic problem”).

While not a teetotaler, I know the gravity of the situation we now face, particularly the binge drinking and guzzling contests prevalent in the young.

As a father of eight, a retired middle manager of a major industrial facility, and past chairman of Clay County’s Health Department, I can attest to the fact that her article understates the seriousness of the problem (don’t forget social disruptions, automobile accidents and domestic disputes).

Many people are hopped up on the tobacco issue, and it is important, but it pales in comparison to the alcohol consumption patterns evident in our society.

Why does the city have such an apparent desire to continually increase the number of bars and other liquor-serving facilities? Only one answer makes sense: Alcohol sales provide tax revenue, and producers have such a strong and well-funded lobby, no one will touch the issue.

I am glad to see someone with the courage to “open Pandora’s Box” on this issue. Keep up the good work, Diane.

Jay R. Stock
Kansas City



Simple, statistical fact. The problems associated with Alccohol use and abuse cost this country more money than the use of all other drugs (including tobacco) combined.

Another simple fact is uyou are never going to stop people from using drugs. And alcohol is an extremly potent drug.

Time to quit B.S.ing ourselves and legalize them all.


I have personally experienced what a loved one's alcoholism can do to their life and your life. Excluding the legal factors of posession, it can do just as much damage as meth or as herion. I would much rather see a person addicted to pot or tobacco than alcohol. It seems as though we really dont want to talk about this for some reason, yet we are all for locking up the potheads.

If people were made more aware of what the dangers of alcoholism are and what alcoholics are really like, their desire to drink would plummet. I used to buy into the whole "glamor" lifestyle you see on TV and in the movies, but after having experienced it first hand, I cant remember the last time I had a drink.

I just hope that we can find a way to really truly educate people on this issue, because what we have right now isnt working.

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