Pubdate: Tue, 07 May 2002
Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Copyright: 2002 Athens Newspapers Inc
Author: Allan Erickson


In his May 2 letter, "Widespread Panic needs to educate fans about drug 
risks," Alan Gordon makes many excellent points concerning drug use at 
Widespread Panic concerts.

In providing volunteer crisis intervention services at concerts here in the 
Northwest, I witness and treat those who err in their drug consumption. 
During a large, weekend-long concert at an outdoor venue with thousands of 
people the overwhelming percentage of folks getting high do so responsibly. 
There is, however, that tiny percentage that need assistance at some point.

There is an effective model of treatment. Then there is the law enforcement 
model, which proclaims prohibition as the only possible course. Strangely 
enough the operating parameters of prohibition exacerbate rather than 
alleviate problems associated with drug use.

With no existing legal controls on product purity too many drugs are 
adulterated and of widely varying potency. Coupled with a discouraging lack 
of balanced, truthful education, we have created our own drug tragedies.

Yes, the band should definitely do some educating among their following. I 
also believe the totalitarian laws of prohibition need to be eradicated so 
that we can reduce rather than increase drug use harm.

Allan Erickson

Eugene, Oregon
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