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From Warren Wade

By Staff | Jul 17, 2013

Dear Editor,

The last letter I had written, I explained a little about a program I had enrolled in at the Huttonsville Correctional Center, but a broken leg while playing basketball has put it on hold temporarily.

As of this writing, I am starting my second month on the medical unit at St. Marys Correctional Center. After about 14 weeks of healing, I plan on getting back to the program.

I’ve always considered myself a good judge of character. I have met several people who, after I’ve gotten to know them, knew the main reason they’re locked up is the result of an alcohol or drug problem. One guy in particular is the inmate orderly who works the medical unit at the St. Marys Correctional Center, doing time for second-degree murder. I would have never guessed that! I have watched him care for people who are unable to help themselves, caring for the inmates who are on the medical unit or who come to have treatment for various illnesses, never realizing that someone as caring and helpful as he is could be capable of taking the life of another human.

Without going into any details about his charge, I did ask “how” he could end up with such a crime? He answered with just what I thought I’d hear: “Drugs.” His drug of choice? Xanax.

Xanax alone is highly abused and addicting. Add alcohol to the mix, and it makes for a destructive and sometimes deadly combination.

No one sets out to abuse drugs or alcohol. Most start out experimenting, or peer pressure, some find that they enjoy the feeling a certain drug or alcohol makes the feel, not realizing the failure they’re setting themselves up for. No one wants to become an addict or a junkie. No one wants to be an alcoholic or lush. Not everyone will become an addict or alcohol simply by experimenting. But do you want to take that chance?

I believe had there been more education back when I started experimenting with alcohol, I would not be where I am today. Just like so many people who started out experimenting, they didn’t start out to be an addict, or even believe that something as crazy as taking someone’s life could happen to them simply by taking a few pills, but crazy things do happen all the time. Overcrowded prisons are proof of that.

Chase your dreams, not drugs.


Warren Wade

St. Mary’s Correctional Center