By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
January 26, 2012 · 12:21 PM
Kent Police arrested a woman for investigation of harassment after she reportedly interrupted an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting Jan. 17 in the 300 block of Third Avenue South.
An officer heard a female yelling from just south of the Kent Police Station and went with another officer to investigate, according to the police report.
A witness told the officers that the woman became loud at the meeting and began accusing other members of being child molesters. When the woman was asked to leave, she allegedly became angrier, balled her fists, assumed a fighting stance and threatened to hit another woman.
When officers arrived they recognized the woman from past incidents and noted she had a history of drug and alcohol abuse as well as mental health issues. They also said she can become confrontational very quickly.
The officers arrested the woman without incident and transported her to the city jail. The woman also was arrested last month for fourth-degree assault and harassment, according to jail records.
Edited on 3/4/12 to respond to becket's following questions (he asked below):
"What is the point of posting this piece? Are you alleging that the woman was making a claim of sexual abuse which no one chose to heed and then had her summarily removed by law enforcement? Are you saying the mentally ill can get into a fighting stance faster than the average drunk?"
I posted this news article because it concerns Alcoholics Anonymous and gives a couple of examples (of many) as to why I think that AA meetings can become dangerous.
What happened here is a good example of how meetings can get out of control. More than 40% of people that abuse alcohol and drugs are medicating for a psychological illness. Also, there are many "members" that go to meetings only to fulfill a parole agreement and they are not limited to dui offenders. There are are also violent and sexual criminals that get sent to AA/NA regularly.
The results are thousands of meetings taking place a day in the U.S. with approximately 50 % of the members having a psychiatric illness and/or are felons. The meetings have NO ONE in charge (only recovering alcoholics present in most) and there are absolutely no safety coordinator to turn to when something like the above occurs and the meetings get out of control.
Members occasional bring children to meetings. Also, minors attend too. Throw into the mix that many members are vulnerable newcomers that are sick and scared and the result is a perfect recipe for disaster. This incident can be added to growing number that has been occurring: Violence with and without weapons, sexual harassment, general misconduct (urinating on and around the public property, littering, general rowdiness).
I also posted this article because there have been cases of child molestation that have occurred involving some of the more sick members and their peers’ (other member's) children. Just because someone has a history of mental illness does not mean that they are lying. It could be that she is a schizophrenic and/or hallucinating OR it could also be that she's aware of deviant misconduct and because (or despite) of her illness went about expressing herself in the wrong way. Perhaps she was frustrated because other avenues she has taken to expose a problem were not handled correctly. I have personally witnessed the AA board ignoring claims of violence or sexual misconduct so I would understand those feelings.
It's hard to tell exactly what happened from the information, or lack of, in this article . I suspect we will never know the exact situation surrounding this matter. AA has a habit of ignoring complaints and sweeping any bad press about the program under the carpet. They have a history of LYING, a list that includes their awful success rate, their history, their membership rate, and any reports of violence or sexual abuse.
I wrote a piece called "The 13th Step and Crime" which covers a few of the points I wanted to make more extensively.
Edited again 3/4/12:
Some people have mental disorders first and cope with drugs/alcohol. Some abuse drugs/alcohol (for whatever reason) and develop mental disorders.
"Addiction is common in people with mental health problems
According to reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:
Roughly 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance abuse.
37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness.
Of all people diagnosed as mentally ill, 29 percent abuse either alcohol or drugs.
Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness"
"Some areas of the brain are affected by both drug use disorders and other mental illnesses. For example, the circuits in the brain that use the neurotransmitter dopamine–a chemical that carries messages from one neuron to another– are typically affected by addictive substances and may also be involved in depression, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders."
"Because mood disorders increase vulnerability to drug abuse and addiction, the diagnosis and treatment of the mood disorder can reduce the risk of subsequent drug use. Because the inverse may also be true, the diagnosis and treatment of drug use disorders may reduce the risk of developing other mental illnesses and, if they do occur, lessen their severity or make them more amenable to effective treatment."