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This is the Charity’s new blog providing insights into the addictions field. We hope you will find it interesting and thought provoking

The sad and untimely death of Charles Kennedy

The sad and untimely death of Charles Kennedy due, it appears in the end, to his alcoholism has raised important issues for discussion and debate on that subject.  It has certainly revealed a wide variety in the degree of understanding or lack of it, even among those sympathetic to Mr Kennedy’s condition.

It has been interesting and good to note that the corrosive stigma that normally attaches to those with a dependent relationship to alcohol has been absent.  Without exception, those who knew him have stressed in glowing terms the character of the man and referred to the condition from which he suffered as an illness. They did not want him to be tarnished as a result of having that illness. If people can view this man so positively despite his addiction, why cannot all people suffering in this way be treated with similar levels of sympathy and understanding?

In casting about for reasons why someone like Charles Kennedy should succumb to addiction, some commentators have focussed on the pressures of political life.  That may have been a contributing factor in the progress of the condition, it may not.  In the end, whatever started the mood altering behaviour, the alcohol addicted person drinks for no other reason than that they are addicted.

Recovery is possible but key to it is understanding and accepting addiction for what it is; that it is as much (if not more) a mental and emotional condition as it is a physical one. Not drinking alcohol is not the same as recovery because a secret, powerful attachment to the drug may go unaddressed, waiting for a moment to prompt and justify a return to use.

Nick Barton
Chief Executive
Action on Addiction
Posted: 16/06/2015 09:12:26 by Cherry Corner | with 0 comments
Filed under: debate alcoholism, political life


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Action on Addiction is a company limited by guarantee registered in England | Company Number 05947481 Registered Charity Number 1117988
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