tribune FEATURES IS THE TRIBUNE, TERRE HAUTE> !ND. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 1971 By LESTER L. COLESIAX, M.l>. Guarding Against Addiction "Greener yet than deepest green is Hope. Coveted symbol of our very life ... To those who suffer, we urge Hope. Until the suffering shall subside. 1 ' These lines were written by an 80-year-old woman shortly after she had been mugged, beaten and left for dead by a trio of drug addicts. This extraordinary woman, Mrs. Rosa Longhi, recov e r e d Dr. Coleman •lowly. Although this ghastly experience occurred two years ago, the physical and psychological scars have not made her vindictive nor altered her philosophy of love and hope. She has often expressed intense sorrow for the young men who assaulted her, hearing them no malice, but rather caring for their desperation. Mrs. Longhi's accomplish merit is not that she survived • beating. There is a more important reason for my telling you this story. My readers know the faith that I have in the elderly who with spirit, maintain productive lives and do not permit added years to be a burden. Like Rosa Longhi, who at 79 first began to write poetry thousands of people in this age group continue to fill their lives with activities that give them sustained happiness and enthu siasm. Conversely, I have a deep rooted feeling of calamity and tadness about the epidemic o drug addiction among our youth. A 24-year-old girl sat opposite me recently and told me her story of heroin addiction. Beginning with marijuana, she quickly progressed to a codeine cough medicine, then to sniffing cocaine. LSD, and finally to heroin. Background? A rr i d d 1 e-income family. No divorces. No .separation of parents. A good j balance of love and discipline n the home. A good high school record, and two years of col- ege. Now where along this route did such a calamity occur? And what is more dishearten ng, what can be done now? At first, she was hostile anc resisted any offer to help. Proh ably the most painful momeiV came when her hostility sub sided and she tearfully and almost prayerfully asked, "You mean, Dr. Coleman, that there are some people who get up every day and are actually glaa to be alive?" Such despair gives us an insight into the heartbreaking destructiveness of drug addiction. Not only the addict, but the entire family bears a burden for this self-inflicted disease. I believe that this plague can be prevented only by educating our youth. Children at the age of 8, 9, 10 and 11 are the ideal candidates for educational plans that may yet break the painful prog' ress of dope addiction. Dr. Lester Coleman has pre pared a special booklet for readers of the column entitled, "Pay Attention to Your Heart." For your copy, send 25 cents in coin and a large self-addressed, stamped envelope to Lester L. Coleman, M.D., in care of this newspaper. Please mention the booklet by title.