Pubdate: Sat, 07 May 2005
Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
Copyright: 2005 Asheville Citizen-Times
Author: Norman G. Hoffmann


The article, "Meth: A drug that ruins lives," (AC-T, April 24), concerning
the problems of methamphetamine provides an important community service.
However, as a professional with more than 25 years of experience evaluating
treatment programs throughout the U.S., one statistic in the so-called "Meth
facts" on page A7 caught my attention.

The first item in this section claims that the recovery rate for
addicts is only 2 percent to 16 percent, an unbelievably low rate of
recovery and inconsistent with available research. Evaluation of meth
treatment outcomes conducted by University of Iowa researchers
published this past year revealed findings far above the 16 percent -
not to mention the 2 percent - recovery rates indicated in the
article. Methamphetamine misuse and dependence are serious problems,
but dubious statistics with implications of doom are unhelpful.

Implying that recovery from addiction is possible for only as few as
one person in 50 is a disservice and might dissuade those who might
otherwise seek help from entering treatment.

Recovery rates from addictions to methamphetamine, alcohol and other
drugs are comparable to recovery from various medical illnesses as
documented by sound research.

Those who enter licensed treatment programs, adhere to the treatment
regimen and utilize proper support systems have reason to be
optimistic about recovery.

Norman G. Hoffmann, Waynesville

Hoffman is president of Evince Clinical Assessments in Waynesville. 
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