Pubdate: Thu, 17 Feb 2005
Source: Mirror (CN QU)
Copyright: 2005 Communications Gratte-Ciel Ltee
Author: Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt


Thank you for the recent article about addiction written by Kristian 
Gravenor ["The dope on drugs," Kristian Perspective, Feb. 10].

Something that always strikes me about the testimonials Gravenor describes 
is the regularity of the downward spiral that people go on. It often starts 
with a choice to suppress the stress and heartbreaks of life and invariably 
ends up in rehab, prison or cemeteries. Thankfully, I only did rehab.

In some countries, however, getting into rehab care is not that easy, given 
funding constraints. Some programs are far too long, and drug users also 
risk institutionalization, not to mention the loss of day-to-day rights, 
such as having a lover. The rationale is, "You're supposed to be thinking 
about getting your life together," but in the age of AIDS, prohibiting 
condom availability in drug treatment programs with injection drug users 
about is too risky. At the very least, staff should be in a position to 
facilitate workshops about blood-borne disease prevention so that those 
who, for example, choose clandestine sexual relationships know how to use 

While many criticize the "anonymous" programs (NA, AA, etc.), at the very 
least they often give people a social network of support, where such issues 
are addressed consistently.

Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt

London, U.K. 
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