John Nichols, in his Dec. 10 letter to the editor (“Stupidity, hard drugs root causes of addiction”) shows a few things that make it even harder to deal with addiction:

First, he states that all he had to do was recognize that drug addiction is stupid and then to avoid those “hard” drugs. How nice for him that he is one of the 90 percent of those who don’t get addicted! The fact is that one in 10 of us has the propensity to get hooked on whatever mind-altering substance is used.

He feels that addiction isn’t really a disease because it isn’t something you “catch” in a pathogenic sense. However, you get hooked on something and just watch the progress through predictable stages that end in death … that sounds like a disease. So get over it! It’s a treatable disease, and people aren’t stupid for getting it.

Also, he seems to feel that “drugs” are different from his drugs of choice in college: Was it alcohol? Pot? No matter the substance, if one experiences negative consequences from substance use, and they keep on using, they are addicted by definition.

So, have an operating-under-the-influence conviction and keep driving drunk? Addicted.

Still smoking after shortness of breath, smoker’s cough and cancer? Addicted.

Deny the science behind addiction and shame the addict? Stupid.

David Pope


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