My deepest sympathy to letter writer Thomas L. Ripley in the loss of his wife. My intention is not to diminish his wife's courageous battle with brain cancer.
My daughter is also in a battle because she has a drug addiction. Her drug abuse has changed her brain's form and function. She has become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the drugs.
In my opinion and that of many other people, drug addiction is a severe brain disease that causes the user to engage in compulsive drug use regardless of the consequences to herself or those around her. According to the Nar-Anon Family Group Book, "We have found that compulsive use of drugs does not indicate a lack of affection for the family. It is not a matter of love, but of illness. The addicts' inability to control their use of drugs is a symptom of the disease of addiction."
I'm not writing not to cause Ripley any more pain in his heart, but to educate him and others about this horrible disease called drug addiction. Everyone is welcome to learn more at a Nar-Anon meeting like the one I attend every Monday night in Glen Carbon. I go there not to change my daughter but for support in learning how to cope with this disease.