Thursday, February 19, 2009

Organising a formal debate

I was due to lead the structured day programme today. This is a programme of group activities for people with drug and alcohol problems. The activity that had been planned for the group had been cancelled and so my boss asked me to come up with an activity for the clients.

I suggested getting them to do a formal debate and she liked that idea. She got them to debate the causes of addiction:

Addiction is due to personal choice


Addiction is caused by society.

A great subject because it addresses questions of blame and responsiblity.

The clients found the activity very challenging, but they nevertheless had a really good debate.

I bet you never realised how diverse drugs work can be.


Trevor said...

You left the important bit out. Who won the debate?

Celestial Fundie said...

The group all felt that addiction is a matter of personal responsibility, including the group I asked to defend the other view. That made it all the more challenging for them.

Trevor said...

Glad they thought so. I'm sure personal circumstances don't help in the majority of cases, which is pretty humbling for people like me who tend to be too black-and-white. But it's a pretty good foundation to have if they feel the way they do. Sounds a tough job you have, Matthew, but potentially very rewarding (though it leaves you open to patronising comments like this from me!).

Celestial Fundie said...


It is good that they are not blaming others for their addiction problems.

On the other hand, I did raise some problems with the case that addiction all comes down to personal choice. For instance, one of the clients shared how a bereavement had lead him down the path of alcohol misuse. Our choices are inherently limited by the circumstances in which we are placed.

Every Blessing in Christ