Working to fight alcoholism

Published Sunday October 4, 2009
THE PUBLIC PULSE (Letters to the Editor)

As a resident of Sheridan County, which includes Whiteclay, Neb., I would like to see something done about the alcohol sales.

Whiteclay is unincorporated, yet our sheriff’s department spends considerable time and expense there.

I realize it is legal to sell alcohol in Nebraska and that the Pine Ridge Reservation is dry. I also realize that if alcohol sales were outlawed in Whiteclay, Native Americans who were addicted could travel farther to get alcohol, leading to more drunken drivers on our roads.

I am not sure how to deal with this problem. It is, however, a huge problem.

The consequences of alcohol include alcohol addiction, homelessness, panhandling, stealing and children born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability.

On the reservation, there are many homeless people and children taking care of themselves because their parents are drunk or incarcerated. As a society, we must do something and not continue to close our eyes to the devastating effects of alcohol.

I have started an organization called Special Needs Advocates and Parents (SNAP) to educate the public about the effects of alcohol on the futures of children in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Barbara L. Vancil, Hay Springs, Neb.

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