Rarely a week passes any more that the headlines involving the victim(s) of addiction do not make the news here in the Kennebec Valley area.

To be sure this is a tragedy that leaves us all a little emptier since many of these victims are just getting started with their lives and have so much to give.

Having worked in the recovery field for 30 years, I had the opportunity to see the disease in action many times. It taught me many things. These are just some of them.

Addiction is tenacious with very few, if any, boundaries.

Addiction, like so many other complex diseases, can be treated successfully, especially if treatment begins early.

Addiction, like so many other diseases, is resistant to treatment but can have a healthy outcome.

What I also learned is that addiction is the problem. We have a problem focusing on this because most of recovery is either focused on the person as the problem or that drugs are the problem.

For the most part a moral model is still presented in “recovery.” The so-called war on drugs has been a dismal and costly failure.

Why? Because neither the person nor the substances are the problem. Addiction the disease, primarily genetic in its origins, is the problem.

When we begin to treat the disease as the problem, hopefully releasing the stigma that is now attached with it for so many, then we will turn a corner and so many more will enjoy their lives.

Robert Creamer

Hallowell

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