Thursday, February 27, 2020

Sometimes Letters to the Editor Don't Get Published - Part 2

Addiction, One Book at a Time by Alex Williams

Alex Williams serves us all by sharing information about books on addiction. Unfortunately, he employs outdated memes that perpetuate the stigma around Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Discussions about SUD in its various guises often include conviction about “Rock Bottom”. The notion being that sooner or later the afflicted have to experience a life-altering event that shocks them into lasting change. Our family, too, heard this notion from multiple sources while our son, William, struggled with his use of heroin and we struggled to cope and understand.

The problem is this. The rocks at the bottom are strewn with dead bodies, including that of my son. Death is rock bottom. Anything else is just a serendipitous, albeit uncomfortable, landing on an outcropping on the way down. It may be a tough climb back. There may be other falls. But it’s not death.

People climbing back were never “dirty”.  The use of the antonym “clean” suggests otherwise and cheats these authors among a legion of others of the value of their hard work and ultimate success in achieving sobriety and sustained recovery. 

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