Alcoholism and drug abuse

High School ・Psychology ・MLA ・2 Sources

Before she leaves, when Leo calls Karen to his office, Karen admits that he is not what she thought he was going to be. Judging by the actions of her father, who was also an alcoholic, Karen does not understand how Leo, an abuser, could hold such a significant role whose choice influenced the lives of many people (The West Wing Season1 Episode 13). Due to psychological issues and family disintegration, Leo may have been forced into alcoholism and substance abuse. His father, an alcoholic, had, after an argument with his mother, committed suicide. The view of Karen as an addict derives from the fact that her dad was also an alcoholic. Leo, on the other hand, admits he is not yet cured. The fact that he has not had a drink or a pill in six and a half years does not guarantee he won’t take one tomorrow. Evidently, Leo is struggling to prevent a relapse. The urge of addiction makes him ‘not want one drink, but ten drinks’ (The West Wing Season1 Episode 13). There is an insatiable urge in Leo to overindulge in alcohol, yet the weight of responsibilities that his office bears makes him suppress this urge so that he can make sound decisions.
Karen has had a close encounter with an alcoholic; who happens to be her father (Challen & Paul, 26). When Leo summons, she naturally expects an uncontrolled rant and a complete dress-down from a man she perceives to be no different from her father. Karen expects to see certain behaviors like being manipulative and a liar, a standard behavior of an alcoholic. She hopes Leo also to become abusive and shift the blame of the leaked information to her. Instead, what ensues is a serious conversation that lets her a window to peek into Leo’s troubled childhood and dysfunctional family. Leo comes out as a sober man who is calm, kind and compassionate too because he accords Karen a second chance at her job (Challen & Paul, 26).

Works cited

“The West Wing Season1 Episode 13.” YouTube, uploaded by Joanfamilyguyninja’s channel, 2 March 2012.
Challen, Paul. Inside the West Wing: an unauthorized look at television's smartest show. ECW Press, 2001. Print.

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