Having read the research, I’m confident it’s not just a matter of decision-making, or willpower, or even depression.
Shame always plays a role. Not just the shame of discovery, but the shame of having a problem in the first place.
Politicians are often accused of flip-flopping, but they may see themselves as representing the will of the voters.
There’s no shortage of stories among nurses and doctors about a friend or family member who went through treatment and relapsed, perhaps many times.
Hard to imagine anything more disturbing to most people than finding an overdose victim on the floor of the ladies’ room at the local McDonald’s.
Having that particular label implies– the need to make a number of important changes in lifestyle that the patient frankly doesn’t feel like making.
This is the sort of reasoning that leads unthinking legislators to chop funds for substance abuse services whenever there’s a budget shortfall on the horizon. It’s not based on return on investment from treatment, which research demonstrates is phenomenal.
The notorious revolving door wasn’t entirely due to the patient’s desire to avoid change– the hospital couldn’t get them out the front door fast enough.
Alcoholism has been around for nine or ten thousand years, but most of what science understands of brain function is less than eighty years old.