As a healthcare worker, I can vouch for the fact that smokers, alcoholics, and drug addicts contribute greatly to my job security.
And yet, despite this, I cannot condone these vices because I've seen the results of their prolonged use on the human body.
I've watched a number of people die slow, agonizing deaths from substance-related cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholic hepatitis, pancreatitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Some of these people were over fifty years old; some of them were in their thirties or forties.
It may appear that some people are resistant to the effects of smoking, drinking, and using drugs. If so, they must be in the minority.
Substance abusers are a drain on the insurance companies, a drain on society, and a drain on themselves. The only people who benefit from their bad habits are the tobacco companies, liquor companies, and illicit drug pushers.
While Americans are free to make their own choices, they should be aware that they could be choosing death over life in the choices they make.
Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, September 27, 1994.
Copyright 1994-2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.