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Ending addiction requires commitment 

San Luis Obispo

Please allow me to comment on Dr. Howalt’s letter, “There are medical treatments for drug addiction” (April 12). While I agree that society shouldn’t punish addicts, I must disagree that addiction is not a choice. It was a moral issue when that patient decided to take his first dose, and quitting his addiction is also a moral issue.

Dr. Howalt’s compassion for addicts is commendable and was once my view, also. However, after leaving the nest, I discovered that many alcoholics and addicts don’t want to quit drinking and mainlining. Their abuse of substances is killing them, yet they have no intention of ever quitting! Granted, their “high” has long since worn off. Nonetheless, many still enjoy drinking and doping.

Medicines can help, but will fall short of “curing” the drinker or doper unless he or she is first committed to stopping. Medications are no panacea, and many cause serious side effects, if only over time. Fighting addiction with more drugs strikes me as being analogous to secondary burn fires that get out of control and destroy towns in their path. It may work for some, but many others must become fed up with their drugs and people in their lives to make a commitment to stop.

-- Steve T. Kobara - San Luis Obispo

-- Steve T. Kobara - San Luis Obispo

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