I wrote this comment in response to a writer who raved against addicts for not being held to some standard of getting better, and my take on his article was he was frustrated with the addicts for relapsing in such high numbers, which is true -- and is outrageously expensive. I think there is another reason for all the relapsing, however, and that yes I agree, something needs to be done about it. Anyhow, the comment was too long to be accepted so here it is:

Dear XYZ:
I don't disagree with some of the points you make -- especially the notion that the addiction-rehab cycle seems to be an ever spinning revolving door that involves alot of high costs that are being wasted.

But while you complain about the problems, I think you have totally missed the point, and what is truly going to be needed to fix it. While scientific studies have not been performed as you say on addicts getting well under certain parameters, plenty of scientific studies have been performed on addicts with mood disorders. Studies of every type confirm one huge fact which you omit -- and that is that people with mood disorders are generally at 4 to 25 times more likely to develop addiction than the general population (depending on the disorder). Most of the time it is an anxiety disorder, depression, and PTSD or some combination of these. That is where the answer is, my friend. If these addiction/rehab facilities purportedly help get people sober but they make no effort to diagnose and treat mood disorders (witness half of the $40,000 a month facilities in Malibu), how is someone truly supposed to get better? Do you realize that more Vietnam Vets are dead from suicide than from the war -- about twice as many? Do you realize about 5 Iraqi vets a day are blowing their brains out after getting into alcohol and drugs when there was no previous history of same (but we KNOW about 1/3rd of them are suffering from PTSD, and that is a mood disorder). My point is I agree that the "addiction cycle" is broken, as it were, but I believe that standards that forced so-called "treatment centers" to really TREAT people would improve results. As it is, I bet at least 75% of "treatment centers" help addicts sober up comfortably, force them to go to a bunch of 12 step meetings, and then away they go. As soon as their depression or anxiety or bipolar mood kicks in, their imbalanced brains send them down whatever drug alley they have learned eases the mental pain to get more drugs, and away we go. My message is simply that it seems obvious addiction is tied to such disorders, but proper treatment for the disorders is in extremely short supply -- so the addicts are on a constant merry-go-round on our dime. Your article seems between the lines to be angry with the addicts, to some degree, whereas I think we should be angry at the health care system for allowing such crappy treatment to occur, and reoccur, and reoccur again.