Matthew Perry hosted Piers Morgan Live on CNN a couple weeks ago and as part of his request when he signed up, he wanted to dedicate a piece of it to addiction. He struggled with his alcohol and drug addiction throughout “Friends” and has since made it a priority to reduce the stigma and get more information on it out in the public.
In this clip, he talks with Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Center in Malibu, CA. He talks a lot about the genetics of alcohol use, the disease model of addiction, and his response to alcohol and how it may differ from your response. In psychology, we call this last piece our subjective response to alcohol. Each person has their own way of reacting to alcohol use. For someone who does not have the enzymes to metabolize alcohol cannot drink very much before they start turning red and feeling drunk. It is much less likely for this person to develop a problem with alcohol use because of their body’s reaction to it compared to someone who can handle a greater amount of alcohol without feeling much of an effect or who feels a positive effect.
My favorite part of the video is where he describes his experience with alcohol. He said that some people will have a martini and they get a little dizzy or a little tipsy, but for him, if he has a martini, for the first time in his life, “the world makes sense.” It makes you think about how we look at addiction, the judgments we put on it and how we can change the way we look at people fighting this battle.
Share your thoughts/insights. What did you take away from the video? Have you heard it explained this way before? How will it change your view on those experiencing these difficulties.