Overly simplified logic not a sound solution for addiction

A pair of readers respond to a letter than appeared in a previous issue of the Gazette.

Re: Taking responsibility for choices key to rehabilitation (Gazette Letters, Dec. 28)

I have a background in addiction counselling and was a prosecutor in drug courts for many years. I find it strange that people are so upset about the increase in overdoses by addicts. Had steps been taken years ago to establish rehabilitation centres, at least those addicts who have been saved and want to end their addictions would have a place to seek help immediately.

I am amazed that Mr. Sketchley can identify why people abuse drugs; to my knowledge those involved in dealing with addiction are still asking that question. He comments that “Addictions … come from lack of ability to apply good thinking skills to make wise choices and create sound values for life,” and stresses that addicts are responsible for their addictions. I find this overly simplistic.

In my world, good thinking skills and wise choices and sound values come from parenting. Where a child does not learn this at home, how does she or he learn? No money has ever been spent on social programs for children nursery school age and upward who perhaps don’t get such values at home. Little if any money is spent on rehabilitation programs. These measures are low on the list of priorities with most if not all governments, including the B.C. government.

As for clean sites for addicts, anyone who argues against that does not appreciate the health factors involved.

Canada has always treated the drug problem primarily with police interdiction, rather than as a health problem. There has been drug abuse and overdosing for decades. Why all the concern because more addicts are dying? What have we done to alleviate the drug abuse itself? Next to nothing. It’s a little late and very hypocritical to start crying now.

Theresa BruckerColwood

Addictions can take many different forms

Re: Taking responsibility for choices key to rehabilitation (Gazette Letters, Dec. 28)

Keith Sketchley believes that helping people ingest harmful substances is not a path to success.

I guess he also believes that overweight people should just quit ingesting all that nasty food that clogs their heart and arteries. How about all those pharmaceutical drugs that people ingest with side effects that can kill some people?

The human race is addicted to all sorts of things, be it money, sex, gambling, drugs, food, work, shopping, the Internet, etc. All these behaviours can be devastating to a person who lacks the ability to apply good thinking skills to make wise choices. Let’s just shoot them all.

Terri HuntView Royal