I know many people who have no sympathy for drug addicts. They seem them as defenseless criminals; as people who choose not to control their lives because they love the high too much. It’s a conscious choice, they believe, made by bad people.

I counter with Dwight Gooden.

For those who have yet to heard, Gooden was arrested yet again on Tuesday, when he was involved in a car accident in Franklin Lakes, N.J. Gooden was apparently driving while under the influence, with his 5-year-old son in the back seat. He was arrested after leaving the scene, and was released on his own recognizance until a municipal court hearing.

I hate the story of Dwight Gooden, because I love Dwight Gooden. I believe him to be a good person haunted and corrupted by the voodoo-like powers of alcohol and cocaine. He wants to stay clean; needs to stay clean. But he just can’t, and will probably wind up in jail yet again.