Susan Avery

Nar-Anon Family Group can help families find peace of mind

In his youth, in 1979, a young man decided, along with a schoolmate, to try marijuana. In our state, it was illegal to possess pot, which only added to the mystique of the drug.

The young man and his friend continued to smoke throughout middle school and into high school, eventually moving on to the more sophisticated forms of dope, such as using bongs and pipes of hashish.

At the end of his senior year, following graduation, he sought higher education, college. It wasn't too long afterward that his use of marijuana was, in his mind, not enough "stimulation," so he escalated into a different drug arena - cocaine. This brought excitement and pleasure to the young man; still, illegal and alluring.

One drug followed the next, and now eight years had passed by. Unable to find his peace, the young man confessed his overwhelming and undermining full-blown addiction.

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Easing the burden of addiction, one person at a time

With the 2022 Vermont rate of 37 opioid deaths per 100,000 people, who among us is asking themselves this question: “Why does Windham County have the distinction of having the highest rate in the state at 56.4 deaths per 100,000?” No stranger to the long-term effects of the family...

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The value of belonging to a support group: You are not alone

The basic purpose of support groups is to provide mutual aid and emotional support for people who share the same predicament. The value of support groups has, for some time, been shown to benefit the established group as a whole. At first, it is often difficult to talk in...

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Alas, how now?

The phone rings and, under normal circumstances, you think, “I wonder who this might be.” You glance at the number on your phone's display, and your heart either begins to race or it sinks because you just know it's not going to be a hi-Mom- how-are-you-today kind of conversation. Decision time. Do I answer the call? Do I pretend the phone isn't ringing? I can easily decline by pushing a button on my phone, or I can reluctantly answer, “Hello,

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Take turns at complex intersection

You've heard this phrase most of your life: “Take turns.” First, most likely when sharing with siblings, but definitely by the time kindergarten enters your world. Many a driver in this community must have missed that important early lesson, since I continue to notice how the “me-first” mentality remains alive and well here. Specifically, I refer to our other “malfunction junction” at the base of Union Hill, where it converges with Elliot, Frost, Birge and Williams streets. So locally, here...

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Welch: Please help with Retreat

For those reading the headlines from various media outlets in Vermont, one cannot help but be troubled by headlines concerning the Brattleboro Retreat and woes of news coming from Montpelier of the denial of funding support critical to the health and future existence of this standalone organization. As I sat with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch in a roundtable discussion at the Retreat nearly two years ago alongside representatives from the various local health and human service agencies, I recall the...

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Hope for friends and families touched by addiction

Someone you know might be an addict; in fact, you might love an addict yourself. Addiction to illegal substance - yes, drugs - destroys families. Using is personal to each individual, who often believes their actions affect only themselves. That is not surprising, because addiction to drugs is often described as an egocentric disease. As the user destroys their life, those people around them are drawn into the insanity. Thus, they become “sick,” too. For the addict, hope is on...

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Conscientious driving takes little effort

As recently as this morning, I have again reminded myself to state my thoughts on this subject. Awaiting traffic at a stop sign on a side street near the Oak Grove School, a newer model pickup truck traveling on Clark Avenue passed in front of me. As I proceeded to take a right-hand turn, the truck just stopped in front of a house right there on that corner, no advance warning, no turn signal, and gratefully, no accident occurred. In...

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