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Letter: Sitting in judgment

It’s sad to hear judgmental comments about people whose lives are scarred or ruined by drug abuse. While a live-in volunteer at a homeless shelter in Minnesota in 1985, I saw what can happen to people who hit rough patches in their lives — or whose lives have been tough all along. Everyone deserves, but not everyone has, the kinds of support that pave the way or cushion life’s bumps: encouragement, strong family ties, privilege, education, creative outlets, and other factors. Please think twice before assuming that a person uses illicit (or even legal) drugs due to character weakness or personal defect. When life gets me down, I sing in a chorus or dig around in the community garden. Not everyone has been so blessed. If you’re concerned about drug abuse, please consider helping to create alternate activities for a range of ages in your locale.

EVELINE MACDOUGALL

Greenfield

Thank you Ms. MacDougall for your thoughtful, hopeful letter and suggestions. I hope all the people who read the paper will have read your letter.

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