Just some thoughts on the Nov. 19 editorial, “Lessons from opioids inform policy on meth.”

While the media has done a worthwhile job in reporting the problem, and it may be well-intentioned, it continues to share misinformation with regards to the nature and source of the problem itself.

In the description of opioid crystal meth use the phrase “both epidemics” is used. They are not separate. They are, instead, symptoms of the bigger disease process: addiction. Addiction is a disease of substitution. If one substance is not available it will drive its victims to seek out others. If substances aren’t available then food, gambling, money, sex or electronic devices may fill the void.

There is no such luxury as a “drug of choice,” a common phrase used in recovery circles. The disease creates a drive to continue at all costs. A doctor once described this as “driven by a compulsion beyond my mental control” that is to say that while it appears the person (victim) is making their own decisions it is the neuro-metabolic disease that has overtaken the person’s reasoning capacity that controls those behaviors.

Pursuing drugs as the problem leads down a long path of misdirection. Evidence-based research now shows that substances and behaviors are a symptom and not the disease. Success comes by treating the disease at its sources in a holistic way.

A breakthrough treatment, successfully used to treat depression, is now being tested in addiction. It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and in studies is showing great promise. It’s time for the recovery field and the media to explore this potentially helpful tool.


Robert Creamer


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