Why giving ultimatums don’t work with addicts.


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been wrestling with meaningless deadlines.  Again, if there is an actual dependency associated with a deadline, or if the consequences of missing a deadline are enforced, then I think deadlines are quite useful and necessary.  However, if the deadline doesn’t have any reality associated with it, then they are not only pointless, but they also threaten a program’s success because if people don’t recognize the importance of a deadline, then they simply won’t meet them.  But there is an even more useless and vexing deadline that actually threatens someone’s health: The deadline associated with an ultimatum given to an addict.  Really, the ultimatums that come with dealing with an addict are almost always both meaningless and stupid.

There was a time when a deadline really meant death: When a prisoner crossed an marked line that signified as a “deadline,” the prisoner was literally shot to…

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