Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 2015
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2015 The Washington Post Company
Author: Don Mathis


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's (R) emotional disclosure that his cousin 
died of a heroin overdose shows that the tragedy of addiction is not 
restricted to any income class, ethnic group or geographic area ["For 
Hogan, the heroin crisis hit in the heart," Metro, Feb. 25]. 
Addiction afflicts individuals and families from all walks of life, 
in Maryland and across the United States.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's 2013 Maryland 
Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that 4.9 percent of the state's 
high school students have tried heroin at least once, 5 percent have 
tried methamphetamines and 3.9 percent have used a needle to inject 
these and other drugs.

Fortunately, research shows that addiction, including alcoholism, is 
a disease and not a sign of moral failure or character weakness. We 
are learning that treatment for addictions can work and people do recover.

Don Mathis, Havre de Grace, Md.

The writer is director of alumni services for Father Martin's Ashley, 
a nonprofit drug treatment center.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom