Alcohol Policy – Mostly Tosh?

Back in 2015, Robin Davidson a renowned clinical psychologist suggested; the notion that Government policy on alcohol was likely, in many ways, most likely to be mostly a myth. If he is indeed correct, it then follows that much of the direction and methods currently used in addiction recovery treatment could also possibly be flawed.

Davidson’s argument, aimed at government, civil servants and politicians, offered a myriad of scientific theoretical reasons why this was the case. He highlighted how the attainment of power can and does present psychological changes in people. How as humans, we are all susceptible to truly believing what we actually want to believe, irrespective of facts. He also quoted a high-ranking civil servant who admitted to the well-known fact; statistics can always be dressed up and manipulated to ‘evidence’ whatever it is we are trying to prove.

So, if these factors are as prevalent as he suggests within our political leadership, they’re probably evident to some degree in all leaders. Should it then not also automatically follow; the ‘evidence base’ used within treatment services – to ‘effectively’ support addiction recovery – could also probably be suspect?

Note: Professor Robin Davidson has been a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for more years than he cares to remember. He worked in the Leeds Addiction Service before moving to Northern Ireland as Head of Clinical Psychology for the Northern Health Board. He has published widely in the field of alcohol dependence, motivation and health psychology and has editorial responsibilities for a number of addiction journals. (Film Exchange on Alcohol & Drugs)


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