Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jun 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist
Author: Liz Stonard


Re: "Society pays a high price for the bad choices of a few," May 31.

To help the addicted and address the concerns of the public there is 
a dire need for public education as to the real nature of addiction 
rather than knee-jerk Calvinism.

Iain Hunter's column reflects a public opinion that's an impediment 
to progress in treating the addicted when many seem under the 
mistaken impression that addiction is a "choice." It isn't.

And physical addiction is a medical condition for which the initial 
treatment is not a dose of "willpower."

Taking whatever substance the addict has ultimately become addicted 
to was their "bad choice." But nobody "chooses" to become addicted, 
whether to street drugs or to their legally prescribed medication.

Why do people make that choice to take illegal street drugs though, 
unless it's to mask a deep personal pain? Is anybody asking what pain 
drove them to abuse themselves so? It's easier, of course, to just 
dismiss these people and their problems by shrugging it off as "their choice."

But does anybody care about addressing the causes of why people are 
in this state of addiction? Is the focus more on just getting addicts 
out-of-sight-out-of-mind because it's easier than the more 
complicated thoughtful consideration required to address the problem?

Liz Stonard

Port Alberni
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