November 7, 2000

I’ve been moved to read more and more about cocaine addiction by the continuing trials and tribulations of Darryl Strawberry. I’m having a hard time finding a recidivism rate. The more I look, the more it seems likely that the rate is around 100%. The drug agencies don’t want to advertise this, because they want addicts to try to get off. But the attempt is apparently the success. Strawberry’s aftercare folks aren’t lying when they say, “We expect this.” They do. And they expect it over and over. The point seems to be not that they try to prevent relapse, but that they control the depth of the relapse and the speed of return to attempted recovery.

I guess I’m coming to the conclusion that blaming an addict for relapse is like blaming a cancer survivor for a return of their disease.  Read the rest of this entry »