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The Thirteenth StepAddiction in the Age of Brain Science$
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Markus Heilig

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172363

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172363.001.0001

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A Grocery Store that Closed

A Grocery Store that Closed

(p.11) 2 A Grocery Store that Closed
The Thirteenth Step

Markus Heilig

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the author's account of his early lessons about the destructive force of addiction. He describes one of his previous patients named Eric, an alcoholic and diabetic who refused treatment for his addiction and died shortly after his release from the hospital. The author believes that he still remembers Eric's story because it freed him of some of his innocence and naïveté. But it also captured several elements from which a journey into the landscape of addiction should start: that addiction makes people continue to use a drug even if they know it causes them severe harm and is likely ultimately to cost them their life. That nice people who might be perfectly able to contribute to society still may end up using drugs until they die. That the potential for denial, both from the patient and from everyone else, until it is too late exceeds most people's imagination.

Keywords:   addiction, addictive disorders, addicts, denial

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