NY TIMES LETTER TO EDITOR: “Revolving Door For Addicts”
Re: “Revolving Door For Addicts” (April 17), it has long been accepted that addiction is a chronic, relapsing illness, and when relapse occurs – as it so commonly does after even the very best of treatments – one can only applaud when patients return for additional episodes of care. The fact that “many patients do cont fully recover from their addictions” merely reflects the complexity of the problem.
The “revolving door” can be and often is a life-saver in every sense of the word. Consider a member of the cabinet of former Governor Carey. In an interview reported by The New York Times (December 20, 1978) Commissioner Julio Martinez acknowledged a long history of heroin addiction and “about fifteen” admissions for what you describe as “the most expensive kind of inpatient detoxification.” Would anyone deny that the investment of Medicaid dollars was worthwhile?
Robert G. Newman, MD
Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute
of Beth Israel Medical Center, NYC
This letter was not published