"Kicking a Habit" (Health, by Miriam Schuchman MD and Michael S. Wilkes MD, Oct. 14) is, sadly, another picture of MDs who prefer to label alcoholism and related diseases as "habits" and "drug problems."
I am particularly unimpressed with their summary prescription: "For now, we encourage people hooked on cigarettes, cocaine or other drugs to try to stop using them, through whatever method seems most likely to work: setting a date to stop, joining a group or calling on a supporting family member." I'm sure glad they don't suggest a call to an uniformed MD.
Formal treatment programs, in contrast, offer solid support and the tools that can increase the odds of recovery from these often-terminal illnesses.
ANTHONY L. KRAMER