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Lincoln on Addiction

Dr. Stanton Peele

Figures for

Texas News



The word "addiction" is not well defined. Growing use of "dependency" does not clear up many gray areas. Drug users - including those called addicts - exist within a wide spectrum regarding the amount and frequency of use and resultant behavior. We can say that only a few who carry the label "addict" even remotely resemble public perceptions. Publicity, which centers on the very worst - the unusual - cases, distorts the facts and obscures the path to better responses. 

In general -- Drug use seldom leads to addiction.

[1] Laws do not appear to deter addiction. 

[2] Addicts more often than not terminate their addictions, usually without treatment. 

[3] Addicts can often function reasonably well. Given the opportunity, many could contribute to society even while addicted. 

[4] A double standard exists in regard to alcoholics. We do not normally force alcoholics into treatment or attempt to keep them from their drug. No pharmacological reason for this is evident. 

[5] The views on addiction from Abraham Lincoln in 1842 and the modern iconoclasm of many in the "Peele school" raise interesting questions and show some parallels. 

The views on addiction of Abraham Lincoln [6] in 1842 and the research of modern iconoclasts who share the views of Dr. Stanton Peele [7], raise questions about common assumptions and show some interesting parallels. 

Brief extracts from "Addict In The Family; How To Cope With The Long Haul" by Dr. Andrew Byrne [8] (Medical Practitioner, Dependency Medicine, Australia) touch on the use of methadone [9] and other observations. 

For more, see www.AddictInTheFamily.org

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