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I must take issue with Mr. Rueter's disturbing and somewhat pompous response regarding the road to recovery that Kevin Junior has chosen to travel [Letters, January 26].

For Mr. Rueter's information, the average recovery rate for the addict is estimated to be 10 percent across the board, even less so with persons such as Kevin, who has relapsed several times. Relapse is not uncommon. Kevin is doing the best he can with what he's got.

Mr. Rueter's condescending letter to the Reader was absent of any human compassion, empathy, or intellectual insight into the complexities regarding substance abuse, especially with persons such as Kevin who are dually diagnosed with depression. Had Kevin been challenged with a more "acceptable" disease such as chronic diabetes, I'm certain that Mr. Rueter would reconsider his subjective and naive view of what disease is worthy of his time and attention.

Mr. Junior is challenged with two diseases, not one. He should be applauded for having the willingness to change his life toward the one that was originally intended for him, which will not be easy but is obtainable if he is honest with himself and others.

I spoke to Kevin at the reunion show. He appeared excited, healthy, and happy and was in good spirits. He also gave me a hug (all 115 pounds of his frame), and I provided him a gift, which subject matter shall remain between he and I. By the way, the Chamber Strings performed the best show that I've ever attended during their career.

I must also point out that the Reader has distributed a very responsible piece of journalism: this article can encourage countless individuals to choose recovery by featuring Kevin's honesty about his past.

As for Mr. Rueter, I recommend that he humble himself by stepping briefly out of his self-constructed perimeter of boredom to appraise the challenges that Kevin and other recovering persons face on a daily basis, one day at a time, much like any other individual with a serious ailment. I, on the other hand, will encourage and support Kevin. His responsibilities are simple: continue to attend meetings and work the 12 steps, no matter anyone's opinion.

Best of luck to you,

Jamie Bolo


PS: As for Mr. Rueter, the 12-step program that he requires has not been developed yet; there is no recovery program for persons with cold hearts. However, miracles do happen.

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