Printed Letters: November 25, 2016

Stand at Standing Rock is heartbreaking

On this national holiday, when we celebrate the abundance of our land and the friendship of the native peoples who helped our ancestors through difficult times, it is heartbreaking to see what is being done in the name of fossil fuel development.

The Standing Rock Sioux Nation along with environmental groups and other supporters are making a stand for protection of the land and waters from potential harm.

We all benefit from gas and oil that is produced and many families are supported directly through the jobs available in this industry. So how are we to respond to demands to not build a pipeline and even to keep fossil fuels in the ground?

There clearly is a conflict of interest here. We all know what sacred is but what is sacred to the indigenous people is not what is sacred to most of the rest of us. Do we continue to ignore their concerns for protection of land, water, and sacred sites because it is inconvenient for our dominant industries? How long will we treat the original people of our beautiful country as if they don’t belong here, as if they have no connection here?

The response we see to those who are putting their bodies in the way of this pipeline reflects a much deeper fear than just a need to uphold the law. The potential for loss of income and loss of cheap energy is a major concern for all of us, but attacking those who demand a change does nothing to move us toward resolution of what we are confronted with.


Hickenlooper isn’t doing 
anything for most Coloradans

After reading “County rips Jewell for Denver lease event” on Wednesday’s front page, I have a suggestion.

The article mentions that holding the event in Denver accommodated Gov. Hickenlooper as well as Secretary Sally Jewell. Given that the need to patronize Secretary Jewell soon will be gone, I suggest the residents of most of Colorado should petition Gov. Hickenlooper to change his name to “Governor Denver.”

Such a change would have several advantages. First, this governor isn’t doing anything for the majority of Colorado anyway. Second, it would allow the governor to pander directly to the supporters he needs at election time without apology. And third, it might motivate voters in most of the state to think about their selection for governor more carefully next time around.

Grand Junction

Alcohol withdrawal can be a deadly matter

A member of our community recently passed away due to alcohol withdrawal. While the community is generally aware of the dangers of drug overdose, especially from opioids such as heroine, there seems to be little awareness about withdrawal symptoms of other substances, which could be life threatening. Some don’t know that you cannot die from opioid withdrawal. Instead, one will experience a slew of symptoms that are akin to the flu coupled with aches and pain. This is often depicted in movies where a character is seen locked in a room by a loved one or in a treatment center writhing in agony, drenched in sweat.

Alcohol withdrawal is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention or detoxification unit. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be experienced even after one night of heavy drinking. One may experience nausea, vomiting, dehydration, anxiety, agitation, elevated heart rate and blood pressure, or headache. Those who may have developed a physical dependence on alcohol could experience even more acute symptoms including shaking, or even worse, hallucinations, disorientation, seizure, and up to cardiac arrest or death. This is because the nervous system becomes so used to the effects of alcohol that when taken away completely and abruptly, the nervous system goes into shock, within the first few days, or even hours of sobriety, putting vital organs at risk of failure. Some can even start going into withdrawal with alcohol still in the blood stream.

A loved one may be so intent on helping someone quit drinking that they will refuse to allow that person to get more alcohol. Ironically, without medical treatment or detox, alcohol may save that person’s life until they can get access to medical attention. Notice the warning signs above, and get them to the hospital or a detox unit for assessment immediately.

Additionally, benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Lorazepam have a similar effect on the body’s central nervous system, similar withdrawal symptoms, and similar risk of seizure or death if cut off immediately after a prolonged period of use and dependence.

Please consult with your primary care physician, other medical provider, or emergency medical services before making changes to your benzodiazepine use.

Grand Junction


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