Pubdate: Sun, 17 Feb 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Howard Josepher


To the Editor:

Re "The War on Drugs Starts Here" (editorial, Feb.

President Bush is not alone in making cuts in spending for domestic
drug prevention and treatment. Those of us in the field have witnessed
a steady stream of cuts as elected officials seem frustrated in our
failure to produce a drug-free America and sober drug addicts.

You are correct in calling for a reduction in drug demand at home, as
it suggests a change in the all-or-nothing paradigm of a drug-free
society, and sobriety as the singular indicator of successful treatment.

Many of us in the addiction field have been working under this new
paradigm, which seeks to bring about a reduction in drug use, a
reduction in criminality and a reduction in infectious disease, even
if those we are treating continue to use drugs.

Accepting that we will never have a drug-free society, and that many
drug users are unable to practice a sober lifestyle, does not preclude
our ability to reduce the demand for drugs and help those who continue
to use them.

Howard Josepher

New York

The writer is president and chief executive of Exponents, an
organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people
affected by drug addiction. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake