Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
I feel that any form of so called psychotherapy is strongly contraindicated for addicts. The question ''Why did you start using narcotics in the first place?'' should never be asked. It is quite as irrelevant to treatment as it would be to ask a malarial patient why he went to a malarial area.
If an addict who has been completely cured starts smoking again he no longer experiences the discomfort of his first addiction. There exists, therefore, outside alkaloids and habit, a sense for opium, an intangible habit which lives on, despite the recasting of the organism. The dead drug leaves a ghost behind. At certain hours it haunts the house.
In this country, don't forget, a habit is no damn private hell. There's no solitary confinement outside of jail. A habit is hell for those you love. And in this country it's the worst kind of hell for those who love you.
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
It is not I who become addicted, it is my body.
My case is a species of madness, only that it is a derangement of the Volition, and not of the intellectual faculties.
To possess your soul in patience, with all the skin and some of the flesh burnt off your face and hands, is a job for a boy compared with the pains of a man who has lived pretty long in the exhilarating world that drugs or strong waters seem to create and is trying to live now in the first bald desolation created by knocking them off.