In the world of mental illness and mental health there is a strange border territory where victims and criminals mingle, cause and effect chase one another round and round the barn, and responsibility is almost impossible to assign. I am speaking, naturally, of drug and alcohol abuse.
In the eyes of some, drug and alcohol abusers are simply victims of their own hard-wiring, guiltless as the man who, strolling down a city sidewalk one fine spring morning, is crushed to death when the rope being used by non-union piano movers to transport a Baldwin upright into a 4th floor cold water walk-up apartment casts aside its amateurishly tied knots and surrenders to gravity.
In the eyes of others, dipsomaniacs and drug abusers are merely self-destructive whackadoomians intent on beating the reaper to his work. There is little sympathy to be found among the members of this chilly community.