Pubdate: Sat, 08 Feb 2014
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)
Copyright: 2014 Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.
Note: Paper does not publish LTE's outside its circulation area
Author: Sherry Hoppe


Addiction experts believe there are only three possible outcomes for 
an addict who doesn't escape the lure of drugs or alcohol: death, 
prison or a destroyed life. For far too many, including screen stars 
like Philip Seymour Hoffman, death is the intended or unintended 
result from an apparent overdose when they can't stay in recovery. 
Sadly, addiction doesn't discriminate. It doesn't just strike the 
rich and famous or thugs and bad guys. It invades and controls the 
lives of "average" people. Numerous research studies have 
demonstrated that, just as some people inherit genes that cause 
cancer and other diseases, addicts may inherit genes that make them 
more vulnerable to drugs or alcohol. Like many diseases, addiction is 
incurable. But it doesn't have to be fatal. Addiction is treatable. 
As my sister Sylvia and I wrote in a book we co-authored ("HOOKED BUT 
NOT HOPELESS: Escaping the Lure of Addiction"), many addicts survive 
to live a better life, and broken families are often healed. After 
admitting she was powerless over addiction and turning her disease 
over to God, Sylvia has been in recovery for more than four years 
following a 17-year battle with prescription drug abuse. She was 
hooked but not hopeless.

SHERRY HOPPE, President Emeritus Austin Peay State University
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