Readers write, Oct. 23

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Hotlines, enforcement needed against drugs

I truly feel for Kate Boccia and other parents who struggle with drug addictions in their families (“Elephant in room: heroin and our kids,” Opinion, Oct. 17).

My kids made it through high school without that personal affliction, but I know so many who did not. Drugs are insidious, and availability in or around schools simply should not happen.

Kids know who’s dealing. We need hotlines where they can anonymously report what they know. Schools and communities must forcefully take action with all involved — most importantly, through prosecution of dealers and distributors. Users start as victims of these greedy, selfish people who profit from hurting kids. Sometimes, they are victims for life.

MICHELE SARKISIAN, JOHNS CREEK

HUMAN RIGHTS

Popular media should look at modern slavery

A recent AJC exemplified the mixed media messages the public receives concerning the issue of slavery.

While one article sang the praises of yet another movie about slavery centuries ago in our nation (“‘12 Years a Slave’ best film of 2013?” Go Guide, Oct. 18), another article recounted how millions are enslaved today (“Millions enslaved all over world,” News, Oct. 18). Slavery in African countries goes back many generations, since long before tribal chieftains began capturing and selling fellow Africans to Europeans. This is deeply entrenched, with today’s African adults and children indoctrinated, to ensure slave castes believe it is God’s wish for them to be slaves.

Instead of beating a dead horse here in the U.S. about a dark part of U.S. history, the movie industry should devote its considerable resources to shining a light on African slavery today — as should all news media. We cannot change the past, so why not try to affect the present for millions of people?

LINDA EDMONDS, DECATUR

HEALTH CARE

Is Obamacare worse than previous options?

As a retired business owner who was responsible for providing insurance for my employees, I find it bizarre that so many of my fellow Republicans are so vehemently opposed to Obamacare — not because Obamacare is perfect, but because I remember what the status quo was prior to the president’s initiative. The Republicans’ insistence on a private-sector solution to the current system would be wonderful, if only they would propose such a cure.

That leaves us choosing between a flawed, government-dominated system we don’t know, versus a flawed, private-sector system we do know. It seems to me that only one of these choices gives us any real chance for a positive change.

 ERIC SANDBERG, ATLANTA