Friday, June 21, 2013

The King's designated driver

The New York Post paints a somber picture of the death of 51 year old James Gandolfini. On the night of his death he threw back 8 drinks before succumbing to a heart attack. Gandolfini is reported to have attended AA meetings in NYC but friends say “he wasn’t serious about getting sober.” They also confirm “he has been known to drink like an Irish sailor and ‘blow lines’ on weekend stints.”
Sadly this behavior mirrors what many have said about certain elected and non-elected Wilkes-Barre officials. Off booze and drugs, many, like Gandolfini , are nice people. Unfortunately many are oblivious to the damage they do when not sober.
There are only four outcomes for the alcoholic and addict. Three are very bad.
1)      They die
2)      They are imprisoned
3)      They are sent to an institution (say for “wet brain”)
4)      They recover
Recovery has been and always will be – a choice.
According to Wilkes-Barre police officers who spoke to me confidentially, the “King” of Wilkes-Barre has had to be escorted multiple times after a night out drinking. One cop would drive the King’s car home and the other would drive a cruiser with “his royalty” riding shot gun.
One must wonder…
Is it safe for the city to pull two cops off the beat?
Remember too that these free rides occur at the day’s crime height… about when the bars closed.
Can anyone call this social drinking? I live in a sober world and have sober friends. I cannot imagine a man in his 50’s having to do this without there being a serious problem. I know what people would conclude at an AA meeting.
An active alcoholic will never help another active alcoholic. Freedom can only be realized after someone makes a first leap of faith. I have seen no evidence of this in Wilkes-Barre. I witness chronic and shameful dishonesty.
The problem with addiction is it is the only disease that tells you don’t have it. Add to the mix power, people wanting favors, and other cohorts in the same boat – and it becomes more daunting to get the right help.