We are delighted to be hosting visiting Professor Jonathan Chick for a lecture on addiction treatment and outcomes: "What's done we partly may compute, but know not what's resisted".
Our view of addiction shapes the help we offer. While Finnish addiction therapists tend to see drinking to excess as intentional, French specialists tend to emphasise the addictive power of alcohol. Professor Chick reflects on 40 years in alcohol research and treatment. Alcohol remains our drug of choice in Scotland, but for some, the freedom to choose lessens. How to bolster their resolve? Can a non-judgemental dialogue nudge their decision-making, or has the brain been altered as burgeoning neuropharmacological research claims?
Would-be helpers can feel overwhelmed by the emotional and social distress displayed, but we have to question what are the causes and what are the effects of the addiction. Evidence is available that shows pathways out of these webs of distress but, to give one disappointing example, doctors' antidepressants or tranquillisers are seldom the solution.
When patients’ and therapists’ views on causes and solutions differ, ‘denial’ is sometimes invoked. This lecture will attempt to disentangle that notion, while showing that recovery from alcohol problems means attending to ‘the illness’ as well as the symptoms.
Prof. Jonathan Chick
Medical Director, MA (Cantab), MPhil, MBChB, DSc, FRCPsych, FRCPE
Professor Chick has been a leading researcher in the addiction field for a number of years and has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. He is currently the chief editor of Alcohol and Alcoholism, which is the official journal of the Medical Council on Alcohol.
Professor Chick is an elected member of the scientific council of the Societe Francaise d'Alcoologie and is a member of the board of trustees of the General Services Office of Alcoholics Anonymous in the UK. Professor Chick is also the author of Understanding Alcohol and Drinking Problems, in association with the British Medical Association.