In two pieces in this paper March 26 (“Opioids rewire – and take control of – the brain” and “A deadly epidemic: Addiction to opioids has put an entire generation at risk”), we are told that addiction is not a choice and does not reflect a moral failure. Rather, we read: “Though a well-documented body of scientific research shows that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain, many still see it as a choice, a bad behavior that represents a character flaw or moral weakness.”

Similarly, Dr. Ruben Baler, at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the paper: “One of my hopes has been that if you can just get people to understand the science, the stigma would just melt away.”

Both statements address people who are addicted. But there is a much larger group of people who are not addicted, but who may be tempted to experiment, given that being addicted is not a moral failure, whose stigma should “just melt away.”

Let me suggest that anyone making statements of the above sort that lure more people into experimenting with addictive drugs is exhibiting their own personal character flaw.

William Vaughan Jr.

Chebeague Island