Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

'Abstain or die' is not addictions recovery

To the editor: Re: "Home sick," July 8. I am not involved in addiction recovery in any way, but I can recognize shoddy journalism.

To the editor:

Re: "Home sick," July 8. I am not involved in addiction recovery in any way, but I can recognize shoddy journalism. Mark Hasiuk's thinly disguised opinion piece on addiction recovery services purported to show methadone and other types of supported recovery services do not work. Ignoring his own proclamations that some kind of success measures are needed, he promotes the Welcome Home program, despite the fact that it has only a handful of successful graduates and has not yet had any followup studies.

Even those at Welcome Home admit that fewer than half the people who walk in the door stick with the program (Hasiuk doesn't give an exact number). His evidence supporting Welcome Home comes from one recovered addict.

Some people can quit smoking cold turkey. Some use the patch. Some taper off. Most attempts fail, but most people, given the opportunity, will try again. The one-size-fits-all mentally does not work-not for tobacco nor other addictions.

A well-researched article on the need to offer better treatment services as part of the "four pillars" approach (prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement) would be great to read. But I am tired of Hasiuk's baseless rants against harm reduction. If anyone had the perfect answer to dealing with addiction, we'd be using it. It isn't the "abstain or die" model espoused by Hasiuk. I would appreciate a more humanitarian and nuanced discussion of addiction and treatment in the pages of the Courier.

Donna Morgan

Vancouver