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Institute Should Look At Addiction in All Forms

Institute Should Look At Addiction in All Forms

At the risk of provoking a slew of critical letters, here are two notes on my favorite topic: addiction.

First, I would like to offer an invitation to any or all who responded to the column by Stacey E. Blau '98 ["Hypocritical Fraternities Embarrass MIT," Feb. 25]. Please take a look at the addictions awareness shelf in the Hayden Reserve Room - a small non-circulating collection of books, a booklist to take away, and a list of MIT library holdings on various aspects of addiction and recovery.

Second, I have a request for anyone interested in taking the time to set up and maintain an intervention coalition World Wide Web site. It would be good to have one place to exchange opinions on such provocative topics as this from The Boston Sunday Globe: "More and more college students getting hooked on the 'Net." Is that a sign of work addiction? Or play addiction? Or just a lack of balance or maybe poor planning?

While most college students, at MIT and elsewhere, go on to productive adult lives free from problems with alcohol and other drugs, I believe the Institute can address these problems more openly. Some students who drink in college suffer serious long-term consequences from short-term episodes of substance abuse - that is, from binge drinking. Other students, sadly, get their start during undergraduate life on a life-long alcoholic career. More open discussion of addiction and recovery issues would benefit staff and students alike at MIT. The Medical Department could begin by releasing the results of the core survey completed a couple of years ago.

Eve O. Sullivan

Senior Editorial Assistant

Laboratory for Nuclear Science