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Pastor Ray Branstiter, Lost and Found Ministry, Moorhead, letter: We need to change the alcohol culture

Once again Fargo is ranked toward the top of a list that we would rather not be mentioned in at all. We are the fifth drunkest city in the nation. I agree with the reporter that it is not one of our proudest moments.

Once again Fargo is ranked toward the top of a list that we would rather not be mentioned in at all. We are the fifth drunkest city in the nation. I agree with the reporter that it is not one of our proudest moments.

I am sure there were many people who read the article and would have rather shot the messenger than admit to the problem. They want to blame the stores or the bars that serve the alcohol. Or, as I have heard on many occasions, they want to blame the police, who as they say, should have better things to do than pick on our kids who are out having a good time.

In our culture, alcohol is the acceptable drug. "At least they aren't on heroin, meth or cocaine" is a justification I have heard from parents who provide beer to their young people.

There needs to be a change in our mindset toward alcohol. We need to see the dangers of alcohol use in underage people, and the effects of addiction on our community. Not very long ago the headline in The Forum was about the high percentage of police calls that were alcohol- and drug-related.

The good news is there is help in our community. At Lost and Found Ministry, we provide educational resources to help people who find themselves, or a family member, trapped in addiction. We also have an intervention specialist who will work with a family as they deal with the addiction of a loved one. So far this year, our intervention specialist has done 83 interventions. All of our services at Lost and Found Ministry are free of charge.

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Any night of the week there are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the Fargo/Moorhead area. At a meeting you will find people who will help you with your addiction. They know firsthand what you are dealing with.

I am not preaching prohibition; that has been tried, and it doesn't work. I am preaching education, responsible behavior by parents and responsible drinking by those of legal age.

Pastor Ray Branstiter, Lost and Found Ministry, Moorhead, letter: We need to change the alcohol culture 20071211

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