Here's how to keep an addict in recovery

I am a person in long-term recovery from drugs and alcohol. I am writing in response to the editorial, “Taking addicts out of ER into treatment” (March 28). I would like to offer a model for helping people who struggle with addiction that focuses on the positive qualities of recovery instead of the “fight” against their addiction.

Our efforts to deal with the current epidemic have not yet yielded an answer to the complicated problems associated with the cycle of addiction. While treatment programs are often effective in getting people to stop using drugs while they are in treatment, how do these people continue in a state of recovery? I think we need to consider the model of the Recovery Community Organization (RCO). RCOs make living a life in recovery attractive. They are not meant to replace treatment programs, but rather to bridge the gap that currently exists between treatment and recovery.

Populated by people in recovery, RCOs respect secular, religious, and medical pathways to recovery. They do not adhere to any one pathway. Instead, successful RCOs help addicts in recovery by offering support services from peers. This environment creates an atmosphere of empathy and non-judgment. Recovery Community Organizations are fundamental in keeping addicts in recovery and out of the cycle of addiction.

Curtiss Kolodney, Baltimore

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