How About a Shot of Truth In That Denial Cocktail?

BlogArticlesHow About a Shot of Truth In That Denial Cocktail?

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Like it or not drugs are front page news again with the shocking admissions of drug and alcohol use by Toronto’s now infamous mayor, Rob Ford. The facts are these: he gets drunk, he’s smoked crack and what’s worse is he denies that he has a problem. Dennis Long, co-founder and executive director of Breakaway Addictions treatment services in Toronto, says that Rob Ford has a problem and is clearly in denial and typical to people who have addiction issues, is minimizing the situation. Not only is mayor Ford in denial, his close friends and family would have everyone believe it too. It is obvious to Dr. Raju Hajela (a Calgary based physician who specializes in addiction) that Rob Ford is experiencing shame, because of the manner in which Ford admitted to smoking crack. It was embarrassing to Ford.

Via Ottawa Citizen:

“Rage is a common response in anyone who’s not dealing with their feelings,” said Hajela. “Shame is a very common feeling for people with addiction because they don’t feel they’re good enough and then they try hard to prove that they are, by doing whatever.

“And whenever there’s a challenge to their authority in any way, then anger is the response.”

While Rob Ford holds a position of authority and power, he is in the same boat as many addicts across Canada, but he may have an advantage. He’s a politician, and whether you like politicians or not, it takes a certain strength and ‘thick skin’ to get to where he is now. I believe that when he acknowledges that he has a problem, he will be well positioned to attack the disorder with the help of his close friends and family who clearly support him, even if now they seem to have their fingers in their ears concerning their loved one’s substance use.

Many Torontonians and Canadians alike are outraged at the mayor’s drunken tirades and videos of him smoking crack, and while these feelings may be justified in the sense that people we vote in should be held to a higher standard, we should be reminded that addiction and substance abuse are brain disorders. Being honest with oneself about their drug and alcohol issues and seeking treatment are very important, difficult and vital steps to take. Ford needs to admit to himself that the mess he’s got himself in is proof that he can’t handle it on his own. He needs to seek professional help as well as continuously surround himself with support groups and circles, and humiliating as it may be, he needs to toss aside his ego, which for someone as powerful as him may be very difficult, but necessary.

Do you think Rob Ford is sincere about going straight?

How About a Shot of Truth In That Denial Cocktail?