Answer: As many as have good stories to tell.
My personal favorite addiction tale from the last ten years is the
second volume in the Patrick Melrose series,by Edward St. Aubyn. Don’t
let the name put you off, my fellow Americans. E St. A. gets down and
funky in New York chasin’ that train. No idea how autobiographical the
story of a desperate junkie (wait: Is there any other kind?)is,though
clearly, E St. A. has been pretty close up and personal.
The reason I love this series (and especially, Volume II) so much
is because the humor is wicked and relentless. Yes, it’s English cerebral,
but the guy is funny. I had already written the nut of “Cleans Up Nicely”
when I read E. St. A. and I went back into the mss., sliced as much
lugubrious fat out as I could and sifted in more of my wayward take on
reality. Really grateful to him for reminding me of the Puck who’s always
waiting in the wings. Conclusion? Addiction, we already know, is painful,
nasty, bad bad bad. Those of us who are lucky to survive have a high tolerance
for the ridiculous. Visit an open A.A. meeting and watch people holding
their sides as they listen to the pratfalls.