Can Accountability Help Recovering Addicts?

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Addiction, the beauty of addiction in what I do is that you literary you take the expression I need to change my mind, that's my job, I need to change your mind, right? It's about sort of, how am I going to do that? Sometimes it's going to be with the medication, sometimes it's going to be with talking to you about certain things, but I think that the power of the physician in this is that we represent two things to people, one is that we represent experience which brings along with it hope which people often don't have at a time of great shame when we're talking about certain addictions, and we represent accountability that is, which I think is a very very important part of all addictive healing is being accountable to one, or more people, I think it lies on the basis of 12 steps meeting, so we go to 12 step meetings because we've become accountable to this community of people who are abstinent and we want to get the approval sometimes it's the whole community, sometimes it's an individual sponsor and that's who we're accountable to.

Sometimes is the physician, sometimes it's minister, but the notion of sort of identifying somebody that you're accountable to is I think very important and very off line with the current thinking, right? We think you'll hear this all the time, you'll say well I have to change for myself.

I have to want to get better for myself. Well, I believe that that's a small part of it of course you want that, that's a synchron known but I don't believe that it happens that often without you being accountable to somebody else and sometimes that accountability is really almost a fakement that is people out here patients often say to me, I need to quit this because my mother who's been dead for six years would have wanted me to quit, right? Sometimes I had a person come in and the other day and say, "Hey, I just found out I've hooked up with my old girlfriend who I met on the internet." She's going to meet me, I haven't seen her in 35 years.

I'm going to stop drinking. He doesn't even know this person any more and 35 years later he feels accountable, and he's going to change and I said to him, so why? Why her? He says, Well, he says, "If I died, I wouldn't want her to see me like this in a coffin." So he had created a whole picture of accountability to a person who was from his past, and I think that that's what we do.

We set up, in the best cases, we set up people who we want to change for.