No! The rate of addiction can be reduced, but not to zero. No one can make another sober, or assure recovery,

That is definitely a first-person, inside job. It takes commitment, surrender, honesty and a lot of work by the addict.

The addiction rate can probably be reduced to some extent through several actions:

Publicity. Announcements, advertising, flyers, discussions concerning the deadly effect of many addictions and the painful process of withdrawal should probably reduce addiction from elementary school to the end of life.

Warning labels. While it may be impossible to get warning labels on street drugs, we could probably label legal dugs (prescription and over-the-counter). We have laws that require warning labels on other poisons (cleaning materials, fertilizers, bug sprays, weed sprays, animal poisons, etc.). Labels on drugs might include safe dosages, frequencies, durations and perhaps other cautions.

Treatment centers. For children, withdrawal services, evaluations and recommendations might put them on a recovery path. For adults, we might add a month of introduction to the 12-step program (completion of the first three steps, to get past the three greatest obstacles to recovery). Health insurance in most instances covers physical and mental health. Why can’t that be the extended to moral, spiritual and social?

What do you think?

Tucson Ray has 30 years of sobriety and recovery experience, and has guided more than 2,000 people using the principles of AA to cope with life without alcohol. By helping others, alcoholics find that they help themselves. Find an AA meeting in Tucson at or call the 24-hour hotline at 624-4183.