Start addressing Aspen’s cocaine woes | AspenTimes.com

Start addressing Aspen’s cocaine woes

Dear Editor:

For Sheriff DiSalvo to say about DEA work in Aspen that “This community frowns on undercover work; it’s not just this agency, this community frowns on it,” is “just another inaccurate characterization” of the Aspen community (“DEA: Close ties revealed by b’day bash,” June 18, 2011, The Aspen Times). As a 26-year resident of the Aspen/Pitkin County community I will not lie down when it comes to acknowledging the seriousness of substance abuse in my community.

The Aspen Times police blotter section of the June 17, 2011, edition reported on a 21-year-old Aspen resident who was charged with possession of cocaine. He was also charged with sale/distribution/manufacture of cocaine.

I know this young man. I’ve known him since he was a student at Aspen Elementary School. It breaks my heart to know that cocaine is a part of his life. I am increasingly aware of more local kids getting involved with cocaine. Is this OK with your community, Sheriff DiSalvo? What is your advice to kids? Should they wait until they are 18 or 21 to try cocaine in the privacy of their own home?

If the DEA (or Sheriff DiSalvo for that matter) wants to know more about cocaine use in the Aspen community, I suggest they talk to Aspen Valley Hospital ER nurses and doctors, counselors, teachers or ministers about the heartache of substance abuse in Aspen/Pitkin County community. Talk to the kids whose parents are still partying or have died from abuse. Talk to the parents who have lost a child to abuse.

Perhaps Sheriff DiSalvo and the people in his community do not like how the DEA operates. This “war” on drugs is costing billions, but what are the alternatives? As our elected officials spend their time and our tax money on monuments to their egos, substance abuse issues in our community continue to escalate. When it comes to money for community members in need, nothing can be done is said as “the government cannot be all things to all people.” I disagree. Doing nothing cannot be an option.

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Kim Vieira

Aspen Village

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