The inspirational “Sobering stories of recovery” [Health & Science, Feb. 26] made me realize I have learned more about influencing human behavior in two years as a certified substance abuse counselor than in my previous 30 years as a lobbyist.

I conduct day-one interviews at a Fairfax County residential treatment program for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, asking each new community member, “Why are you here, and why now?” Most addicts struggle with the guilt and shame of their pasts yet fear a future without their drug of choice. If you want to change behavior, the only time that counts is “here and now.”

Addiction can take many forms — drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food, even video-gaming — but 12-step recovery programs work. It takes a surrender of will, a fearless moral inventory and rigorous honesty, but as The Post article confirmed, recovering addicts can enjoy a happy and joyous freedom they would otherwise never know.

Roger Cohen, Vienna