I have a lot of admiration for the intellect, passion, and compassion of Columbia University Professor Carl Hart, who is very open about his own use of drugs (including heroin). Until now, my understanding was that Dr. Hart had developed addiction early in life which he had overcome. After listening to this WNYC interview, I now understand that he continues to use drugs without much (if any) concern. I’ve got to admit to having very mixed feelings about the fact that a world-renowned expert researcher and academic on addiction discusses his own continuing use. I understand and support the need to have people from all backgrounds telling real stories in order to bring it out into the light of day, break stereotypes, and dispel stigma against drug use and addiction. I also am concerned about the message this sends about highly addictive substances which appear to generally wreak havoc and even death upon individuals, families, and communities. NIDA reports that 75% of people who use heroin do not develop an addiction disease. While I would want to know, I would be highly concerned to learn that my adult children were heroin users; and that they have little/no concern about potential negative consequences.
I invite you to listen to this interview, and then weigh in with your comments here to establish a dialogue/conversation. I appreciate your help. Have a wonderful day.