Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Letter to the Editor - Great Courage

Great Courage
Baltimore Jewish Times - October 12, 2005

I thank Shani Dinovitz for writing last week's cover story "Looking Up." I thank all of the individuals interviewed. It takes great courage to make such personal aspects of one's life public.

It's vitally important that our community know more about chemical dependency. According to a study done at the Menninger Clinic (1996), 69 percent of the patients admitted to chemical dependency programs have histories of physical and/or sexual abuse. We have to remember that childhood sexual abuse occurs frequently in chemically dependent families. ACOA's (Adult Children of Alcoholics) are several times more likely to become addicted or involved with an addict. Many survivors of childhood abuse develop addictions or compulsive behaviors to anesthetize feelings they have been unable to cope with. Another important issue is that about one-half of all sexual assaults are committed by those who have been drinking alcohol.

Vicki Polin
Executive Director, The Awareness Center Inc.
Baltimore, MD