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And Jeers

January 30, 1994

That was the most well-written piece of denial, resistance, excuse-making and absurdity that I have ever read. By Andrews' own account, he drinks alcoholically but defines it as social drinking--the everybody-does-it rationale.

As a therapist specializing in substance abuse and recovery, I'm sad that alcoholics in denial will show this article to their friends and families as "proof" that they are only social drinkers. But I also know that alcoholics in recovery will look past Andrews' rationalizations to the truth--a truth I hope Andrews faces before it costs him his work, his health and his family.

KATHLEEN CAIRNS

Beverly Hills

*

I am a recovering alcoholic who has worked full-time in the alcoholism-treatment field for 10 years. The article triggered a flood of personal memories: wine-tasting parties, fine French restaurants, Skid Row bars, fights, car crashes, arrests, divorces and funerals.

I tried to cut down. I periodically went on the wagon, once for two years. When I resumed, having proven to myself that I couldn't possibly be an alcoholic, I entered a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs that nearly killed me.

I am an alcoholic. I have the disease of alcoholism. Through the grace of God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I've now been clean and sober for 12 years. If I drink again, I will die.

Hope to see you at a meeting, Colman.

MARC DUQUETTE

Laguna Beach

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Publishing Andrews' article is indefensible. He should be sentenced to working 400 hours of community services at a rehabilitation hospital with people whose bodies and/or minds have been maimed by drunk drivers. Better yet, he should work in a hospital, handling the job of telling people that their loved ones didn't survive alcohol-related accidents.

JEAN MILLER

Agoura Hills

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Drunkenness is associated with more criminal activity than any other type of drug abuse. I know, because I'm a police officer and have to deal with drunks daily. Most wife-beaters are drunk. Most drivers who cause fatal traffic collisions are drunk. Most fights are perpetrated by drunks.

On the day Andrews' story appeared, I had to search for a missing 13-year-old girl who'd bailed out of a car being driven by a drunk adult friend. She preferred seeking a ride in a neighborhood infested by a large dangerous gang to risking her life in an automobile operated by a woman who could hardly walk.

ROBERT C. PERCY

Norwalk

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A cocaine addict once told me that the difference between alcohol and cocaine is that it takes a lot longer for alcohol to bring you to your knees. Check back with us in a few years, Colman.

M. POWER GIACOLETTI

Lake Forest

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I have the burden of several alcoholics in my family, and like all untreated alcoholics, they are in complete denial. We got four telephone calls, virtually before the ink was dry on your pages, with these drinkers telling each other that getting drunk was indeed "manageable." Thank you for undoing our years of trying to support Alcoholics Anonymous.

FRANCES GAE

Sherman Oaks

*

Presenting a 360-degree view of society is admirable, even necessary. But there must be an admittedly ill-defined point at which a sober decision must be made. Will you next run an article by Mario Andretti extolling the virtues of a daily 120-m.p.h. drive? Cleanses the soul, he might say.

JOHN BLOWITZ

Long Beach

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