The N&O had an article about addiction Wednesday in which an intervention specialist (and recovering junkie) likens addiction's effects on families to cannibalism. But just last night Tom Shaheen, our lottery czar — sorry, our Education Lottery czar — implied that a gambling problem is more like an excess of hot sauce. Have you seen that commercial? He dumps a whole bottle of hot sauce on a sandwich while urging North Carolinians to seek help if their lottery habit is a out of control. His admonition that moderation in all things is the healthy way dissolves to the NC Problem Gambling Helpline number. And we all feel a little better about ourselves. Until we look at the newspaper and see that North Carolina's schools are lined up at the legislature for desperately needed construction money, in spite of the 14 cents they receive from every dollar spent on lottery tickets. I know no one wants to revisit the making of this particular sausage, but it's worth remembering that we now (under)fund our schools with money that comes, at least in part, from a habit that can destroy families. Is there a helpline for that?
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