Who’s To Blame for Addiction?

Regarding gay men and addiction [Paul Varnell, “The Cutting Edge, Lavender , August 15]:

To some extent, the victim should be blamed.

I would guess many addictions begin with the urge to live in above-average reality. Some recreational drugs give users that double extra kick that allows them to at least imagine they are surpassing previous experience. So, meth is chosen for its desired effects.

Addiction isn’t an accident. We choose to drink—a lot or a little—depending on the effect we desire to have. Uppers, downers, hallucinogens—whatever it takes. Future addicts gravitate to the drug that will produce the desired effect.

On the recovery side of addiction, the addict finds another pot of gold: the instant community of everyone who is in the same recovering boat.

To some extent, cultural norms are also to blame. Lots and lots of people who will never touch a recreational drug are in mad pursuit of goals, which are just as irrational as using meth.

Mike Janarch

North Minneapolis Charms

This is a great article [Chris Jackson, “ The Birth of a Gaytion,” Lavender, August 15].

As a resident of the Victory neighborhood for seven years, I have seen many improvements in the whole of North Minneapolis. There are many things to do up here that were not here five years ago. We have Northside arts organizations, a theater, several galleries, community gardens, and great youth activities.

To those who think the Northside is too scary to visit, I make a challenge. Try Sauced, Papa’s Pizza and Pasta, or Emily’s. Go to the Workhouse Theatre Company’s plays, or see an exhibit or visit the weekly Farmer’s Market at The Warren. You will be charmed, I am sure.

Duane Atter
Managing Director
The Warren
Northwest Minneapolis Business Association

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436
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