Posts tagged alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse is the elephant sitting on the Pearl Street Mall that no one wants to address.
The city has been concerned about alcohol abuse on University Hill and has started turning down liquor licensees there. Yet two super liquor stores will open this year near 29th street.
Techstars and Boulder Start up routinely promote drinking events everyday they operate. Caution of this addictive drug has been cast to the wind.
The down side is the addiction, behavior, and pressure on public services : from police, to human resources, hospital,<
80% of Boulder arrests are alcohol abuse related. They include the majority of domestic violence calls, 100% of drunk driving calls. 50% of all motor vehicle accidents. Home accidents, drownings , boating accidents. The number nationally are staggering. In Boulder they run higher than the national average.
Boulder has also won the dubious distinction of being the drinking-est community by over a dozen organizations. Boulder Community hospital which does not list alcohol as a cause of death lists a large number of admittance’s for alcohol related diseases including heart disease, kidney failure, heart disease, diabetes, chronic arthritis, and too many to list .
The county Addiction Recovery Center which employs a staff of over 30 24 hours a day admits over 3000 sufferers from alcoholism a year. County mental health say that 50 % of their patients have alcohol abuse. Over 70% of Boulder 3000 homeless suffer from alcoholism. Alcoholics anonymous estimates over 5000 members. Half are under 35 years old.< On the job drinking is promoted daily in social media with office parties always in play.
Wine meet-ups have become a new phenom as have women’s wine lunches.
But is Boulder addressing Alcohol Awareness month ?? No. Why not?. The reason is that a symptom of community wide alcohol abuse is Denial. 18 years ago Boulder banned inflatable liquor displays and alcohol signage such as beer banners hanging from buildings. It also brought to an end alcohol sponsored events at Boulder Rez.
But alcohol promoted events have begun to sneak back into the community.
In 1993 through 1995 alcohol abuse was so severe the city and county held yearly alcohol summits. But not anymore. Has the problem one away. No, it has gotten worse every year.
Here some links on what you can do to raise awareness about alcohol abuse in Boulder http://healthfinder.gov/nho/PDFs/AprilNHOtoolkit.pdf
Although I agree that there are “homeless” individuals in Boulder who might be regarded an eyesore,
“dangerous” when tangled with drug or alcohol abuse, the overall policies the city employs to “deal” with homelessness
are harmful to the entire community — wealthy homeowner, renter, student, or homeless person. It’s not a practical solution to the problem
of having homeless people present, to ask our law enforcers to chase them around and make sure they don’t sleep
in an inconvenient public spot.
Firstly, regardless of whether one imagines the local economy to be robust, or on the decline, or making a comeback –
statistics don’t lie: the numbers of homeless people in Boulder and in the Denver metro area continue to rise. As those numbers
have risen, the number of people on the margin has risen also — people who might be a paycheck or an unemployment check
away from being without shelter.
Asking law enforcers to “do more” — or, “clean up the problem” — is unfair. It’s unfair to the enforcers, it’s unfair to the community
of residents who see the problem growing and are paying for the enforcement strategy that continues to be a failure.
Is it a failure because law enforcement is not doing their job? No, that’s simply not the case — and in fact, it would be absurd
to negatively assess the police department for the job they are doing when people become homeless for a wide variety of reasons –
including injury or illness, job loss, or the entire variety of issues that homeless individuals have which include mental health issues
and substance abuse issues.
Peter Maurin, founder of the “Catholic Worker” movement, which established dozens of working community farms to feed the poor
in the 1930′s, wrote extensively in prose poem digest form of his belief that “What we give to the poor for Christ’s sake is what we carry with us
when we die.”
He wrote: “In the first centuries of Christianity, the hungry were fed at a personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice,
the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice. And because the poor were fed, clothed and sheltered at a personal sacrifice, the pagans
used to say about the Christians, “See how they love each other.”"
He believed that if only we expand our understanding, shift our perspective, we might get what the Pagan Greeks understood –
that “the poor are “the ambassadors of the gods”, and that to become poor is to become an Ambassador of God.
It’s sad to see the Boulder city council sit around and discuss the merits of ”camping tickets” or other measures
designed to control the behavior of ”the unwanted”, whilst all possible helpful solutions are either postponed or ignored.
I say, let’s get it together and accomplish a set of basic goals related to homelessness in our area, a problem
that needs to be addressed directly with specific actions that include creating more low-cost housing and temporary solutions
that lower the level of personal risk for people who do become homeless, and also other projects — like farms created
in the “Catholic worker” model which helped to feed thousands of people in need.
It’s not about advocacy for the homeless, it’s about honoring the basic human rights of people who do find themselves in poverty.
Rob Smoke was the chairman of the Boulder City Council Human relations committee until he talked about “girls ” on his my space page. He is a columnist for Boulder Channel 1 news
UPDATE January 4 2010 With the autopsy report out today and final police report out , it appears the Lafayette Police department are minimalistic because the actions of Patrice Clark happened when she was incredibly drunk. They are now saying it could have been an accident?? Nonsense. That is the biggest bunch of police bullshit we have heard in a long long time. Oh How could the pretty mom with a beautiful daughter carry out a murder. ? right? Is that what they are thinking? Easy. Her drunken demise gave her the courage to murder her daughter and kill herself. That’s what the police in Laff alot won’t admit nor give as a possible scenario. To us it is the only scenario. Read below about her.
November 20, 2010 Lafayette Apparently Patrice Clark blackened the windows in her garage, started her car, and forced her nine year old daughter Nicole to breath the deadly fumes. Was Patrice drunk again? Probably. She had over a ten year history of domestic violence and alcoholism. She had been to jails and institutions repeatedly and finally death.
News reports from the Daily Camera and reporter John Aguilar show a long history of police calls, hospitalization, jail for child abuse, DUIs, and treatment for Alcoholism.
She had also been to the Addiction Recovery Center recently where she told her counselor “all I want to do is get out of here and drink”. Clark had been to the ARC numerous times; “She would always leave with some very sketch patient from the ARC and go off and get drunk”, the counselor told Boulder Channel 1 news on a condition of anonymity. ARC records are considered confidential . Police nor social services can access them. This proved to be a fatal policy. ”The ARC had knowledge of nearly a dozen DUI arrests for Clark, but this was not revealed to police nor courts.” the councelor said. The counclor also said of Clark” well she’s dead now and so is poor little Niciole. A lot of good confidentiality did her. I just hope her mother didn’t force Nicole to breath the fumes. Maybe she gave her a seditive first.”
That’s not likely considering Clark’s long history of violence and child abuse. One question remains. How could the Lafayette police and Boulder County social Services have ever left a child in that womens care.???
One alcoholism expert told Boulder Channel 1 news “Some people drink so much or mix alcohol with drugs that it actually causes brain damage and drives them violently insane.” This appears to be the case with Patricia Clark. Most alcoholics do go mad. Some just never recover. ‘Most do if they have the capacity to be honest and thorough from the very start.’
I love Boulder; I hate to say harsh things about it, but a problem is a problem.
In the past several years the city council has gone from bad to worse in all areas
where it might reasonably be given a letter grade. The “Smart Regs” ordinance alone would earn an “F” if not for the concurrently orbiting disasters of everything else the city council seeks to tackle.
Not able to find it in their hearts to allow homeless individuals some protection
against random police harassment with a moratorium on “camping” tickets for
people caught outside in the middle of winter, they choose instead to vote themselves benefits, create ordinances that barely make sense to the people charged with implementing them, and continue to support overspending
by city government, spending that includes giveaways to corporate citizens
to help fund high-end Christmas office parties.
When do people say “enough”? Recently, one of the more “principled advocates” on council (his own words used to describe himself when campaigning for office), was caught having essentially cheated the county out of proper property taxes, dating back as far as a decade. No doubt he will respond at
the next meeting, admit that he was lax in his view of the issue, and perhaps
pledge to do better. Council will go forward as if nothing ever happened…
but a scandal is a scandal is a scandal. How does a wealthy person …a person
able to put his home on the market for an amount only another wealthy person
could afford…get away with ignoring the falseness of the valuation causing
him to save thousands every year in property taxes? What if everyone just
happened to make this error? What happens then?
Meanwhile…and more to the point of this short piece…the city has different
types of homeless people enjoying its resources these days. There are …yes,
Mildred…decent people who become homeless. And there are chronically ill,
or mentally ill homeless people; people caught in long-term cycles of drug and
alcohol abuse; people who suffer terribly, but probably couldn’t be helped
by anything short of suddenly having ….a home? Even then, it might be likely
the home wouldn’t relieve the suffering. Some of these individuals live in or around Boulder creek – within city limits. These people sometimes…and I’m not saying every one of them, or even the majority of them…but some of these people sometimes defecate by the creek. Have I seen it directly? No, although
I have seen some human excrement by the creek, or excrement that I would judge
probably comes from a human source. Is this a problem? Yes…it is a problem, and it’s precisely the sort of problem that our city council should address. It is a serious health hazard to our city to have water resources threatened by untreated human excrement. It’s a hazard to kids using the creek recreationally; it’s a hazard to downstream users of the water.
So there…I’ve said it. A river of shit runs through Boulder. A river of shit
runs through the Boulder city council, and as long as they are focused on delivering benefits to themselves while denying others reasonable aid;
and while demanding restrictive house size ordinances designed to box out
young, middle-income house buyers; backed up with endless PR campaigns (and
fake plans for “affordable housing”); and then demanding that taxes go up while the salaries of staff sinecures remain steady…and so on… there will be a river of shit running through Boulder…polluting all of us…harming all of us day by day in one small way or another.
Has my personal issue been water? Yes it has. My personal issue is water.
Which is why a river of shit is worthy of alarm. The current city council members not producing it still swim in it. Sad but true, and with “decorum rules” and council benefits on the table this month, and with the homeless population steadily rising, and people frustrated with the electric utility, home size and “smart regs” issues, with further focus on worthless ennui, the stench is in fact reaching monumental proportions.
By the way…could the problems I name be fixed? I don’t know. My suspicion
is that the average drunk (maybe not the drunkest drunk) could be assisted by
a portable toilet facility that was regularly cleaned and roughly as pleasant as crapping next to the creek (where kids will likely play the next day.) In fact, I’d say the ticket for council’s redemption might just be a port-a-john; although at this point, that port-a-john would need to handle, well, a river’s worth of shit.
Rob Smoke, Commissioner of Human Relations for the City of Boulder back
in the day, is celebrating 24 years as a city resident.