Hardball with Chris Matthews, 1/17/13, 7:00 PM ET

Matthews: Addiction is destructive, and we as a society must confront it

Chris Matthews talks about the dangers of addiction, and the need for more people to come forward to address the many problems that come with alcoholism and...

Stop glossing over the problem of addiction

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

I never stop wondering why people think drinking too much is a joke. How can something that ruins lives be the subject of such rich humor?

I say this as someone who believes alcoholism is a disease. I’m not saying people aren’t responsible for drinking too much, just that at a certain point, which can come very early, a person is no longer in control. It’s then that either the person stops drinking or the drinking stops the person, and for good.

I’m glad we had Christopher Lawford on tonight. He shows that the problem of addiction is not limited to the down and out. The richest and most glamorous of people are subject to it, sometimes more often, because people born to privilege can get the idea they are immune to the dangers others face.

Alcohol and drugs can destroy not just ambition, but lives and families. Telling jokes about it may have given us some laughs over the decades. But for every comedy there’s been more than one tragedy.

Getting this into our heads is a worthy goal, and I give Christopher Lawford and Patrick Kennedy a lot of credit for devoting themselves to getting it there.

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Stop glossing over the problem of addiction

Updated