Alcoholism is created by a sugar imbalance.
If alcoholics use a food plan for diabetics, graving for sugar/carbs disappears along with the need to drink. AA doesn't want to know about this. Providing coffee with sugar and sugar-coated doughnuts at every meeting keeps them in business.
It's a moral failing.
Nothing to do with intoxication?
It's the same people who say, "There's no such thing as luck" and "everything happens for a reason"
I want to hit them, each and every time.
[quote]people, I want to hit them, each and every time.
Fixed for R5
Are they a business , though, r2? (sincere question)
My mother is an alcoholic. She has tried to remain sober for most of my life but she always slips back. She doesn't drink because she thinks it's fun. Often times she just sits by herself, silently getting drunk.
When she comes off of a 2-3 day bender she goes into a depressed and anxious state made worse by the chronic insomnia caused by the alcoholism. Actually, the only time my mother gets into a deep sleep is when she's been drinking.
If anyone were to ask her she would say that alcohol has had a terrible effect on her life but yet she cannot resist it. Some dark part of her mind needs it and won't let go.
When I was a teenager I used to be very angry with her. I'd curse and scream at her to stop hurting herself and our family. I blamed her for driving my father away. I blamed her for not having a sense of security in my own home. I blamed her for not having a shiny, happy family like the ones I saw on TV.
But then after years of going back and forth with her I finally gave up and realized that it's not enough for me to want her to stop. SHE has to truly want to stop.
At 60 years old she's still alive and kicking. Although she just retired earlier this year and has done nothing but sit in her house and drink. I call her almost every day to check up on her and see if she's okay. Sometimes she'll be sober, lucid and happy. Other times she'll be intoxicated, slurred and depressed.
I'm Irish and there is so much alcoholism in my family (and previous generations) that it's ridiculous. I truly believe it's genetic and that it's incredibly difficult to treat. I've had a lot of success in AA and am currently sober. Unfortunately, both of my parents died from their alcoholism.
People are hellbent on making something a "disease" to excuse the behavior. You want to say it's a psychological problem, go ahead. Enough with the "disease" nonsense. If anything, they don't want to admit that they're dealing with a mental problem.
[italic]Alcoholism is a mental disease.[/italic]
There's no such thing. Is Bipolar Disorder now, Bipolar Disease?
It's not a disease, it's an addiction. People don't say smoking is a disease, or Heroin addiction. It's just an excuse to get insurance to cover it.
Are you saying society would be better off not covering it? Dumbass.
it isn't a disease it's a blessing
I hate it when people tell me I'm ugly!
I'm both bipolar and alcoholic. I view my bipolar as a disease, and my alcoholism as an addiction.
I believe that for many, it's a genetic problem. Alcoholism runs on one side of my family and it has little to do with just being an addiction. All of the males on that branch are alcoholics and the females are not, it's quite strange.
cuz its not
Saying alcoholism is a disease is an insult to all who suffer from real diseases, like cancer. As a very wise recovered alcoholic who for years wasted time trying all futile ways to stop drinking, including AA, therapy, 12 steps, etc., once said, "In the final analysis, the only way to stop drinking is to STOP DRINKING." Harsh, simple and beautiful. And words that should be taken to heart by all those with an alochol problem looking for answers.
People who say alcoholism isn't an addiction piss me off.
And are you the same bore who posted 'women who aren't feminists piss me off' ?
Are you German Greer perchancity?
You can't give yourself a disease OP. Alcohol is something you do yourself.
It's a condition and a horrible condition worthy of understanding and even sympathy. A disease it is not.
If alcoholism is a disease, it is controllable by way of abstaining and self control. If the alcoholic's brain or chemistry is wired towards this addiction, is the brain diseased? The alcoholic brain has a chemical predisposition for alcohol addiction.
For an example then, why are the degenerated discs protecting the spine called diseased? If the person suffering from degenerative disc disease loses weight and manages their spinal muscles, are they then not diseased? The disc still has a predisposition for degeneration.
r7 It's a cult.
R2 is talking out of his ass about the sugar and carbs, if it were that simple alcoholics could just do what he or she claims and stop being addicted to booze.
Alcoholism can be genetic I know people who had parents and grandparents who are alcoholics, they had issues with alcohol abuse and addiction, and their kids do as well.
Cancer is a disease.
Alcoholism is a series of bad choices.
Saying its a disease is just a ploy to avoid responsibility.
Alcoholism is a disease in the same way that diabetes is a disease. If diabetics follow a stringent diet, excerise and (in many/some cases) take insulin, then their diabetes will be kept in check and they can live a healthy life.
Same with alcoholics. If they maintain abstinence, they will also lead relatively healthy lives. However, because alcoholism is mainly a mental disease/disorder and the behavior of an active alcoholic is considered to be bad/unbecoming, then there is a very big stigma with being an alcoholic - much like other mental diseases/disorders: schizophrenia, bipolarism, etc.
I am a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for almost 8 years and I still do not understand just what alcoholism is or what it is caused by. No, it's not just drinking that makes one an alcoholic. I see the "ism" in people who purposefully don't drink because it runs in their families - but they still exhibit addictive or controlling behavior of a "dry drunk."
It's obviously a disease, why people can't "get it" is beyond me.
If certain brains have a predisposition to this particular addiction, those brains suffer a progressive disease.
Abstinence allows the disease to remain in control.
Abstinence controls the disease, keeping it in remission.*
Medical research findings strongly suggest, if not conclude, that what differentiates those who do not develop addiction from those who do is physiological and can be passed down through genes.
Whatever enzyme in thier brain that tells a non -alcoholic, "Ok, we've had three glasses of wine. Time to shut down the dopamine," is absent in alcoholics and other addicts, even compulsive gamblers.
I know I lack that "shut down" enzyme. When I drank alcohol, I did not want to, nor could I, stop.
I've been sober for a while now, but only because I saught help from spiritual and human resources and continue to do so every day. It works for me and my life is a million times better than when I was drinking.
Is alcoholism a disease? I don't like the word disease, but nevertheless, it is.
I am a recovering alcoholic and I do not view it as a disease, although I understand why people speak of it that way.
Alcoholism is not a morality issue. It is not about character. It is not about good and bad. It is not a virus or a bacteria. It is a condition that some people are more susceptible to than others probably, particularly those who have been raised by or in the company of active alcoholics for some period of time.
It can be controlled, never "cured" in that an alcoholic can never drink again- that is to say if they do, they will become as destructive as they formerly were or worse.
I am one of those that believes that it is best treated by other recovering alcoholics- who obviously know the problem, are in successful recovery, and most of all do not judge, but rather support and advise toward corrective and constructive actins and solutions. Many alcoholics (and addicts) also benefit from careful use of pharmacology if mental illness is part of their story (serious depression or bipolar disorder) and analysis.
Above all else though, it is not a moral failing. Most active alcoholics are miserable people acutely aware of how terribly wrong their lives are, and how much damage they have caused and cause perhaps. They are not bad people like mini Hitlers willfully tearing appart their world- although they do tear appart their world and other people's lives as well.
They can get help, and they can return to well lived lives with the right kind of help; almost always should involve 12-steps and other alcoholics in recovery.
You can give yourself a disease stupid. And you are a prime example of someone who has given himself the disease of ignorance by not trying harder to study and learn how the world really works.
Alcoholism became a disease when doctors found out they could open clinics and get government money to treat something which the patient has total control over without anyone's assistance.
Is lung cancer not a real disease for a smoker?
AA nazis suck!!
R33, no recoverying alcoholic has recovered "alone", at least to my knowledge although I suppose there are a few out there who have stopped drinking without any outside help- but I don't know them. In fact neither do they stay in recovery (that is to say not drinking) alone. They need help and they seek and get that help on a regular basis.
Getting help, and admitting that you need help is the beginning of getting sober and turning the life of an alcoholic around.
As an Irish person have heard that argument many times and its a load.
It's a bad example set at an early age and unfortunately for the Irish it's a culture that you're raised with.
It has nothing to do with genes.
Drunks claim they have a "disease" for the same reason people who fool around on their spouse sometimes claim they have an "addiction:" It allows them to play the victim and avoid responsibility for their bad behavior.
In America today, nobody is at fault for anything they do. Either the devil or some made-up condition causes them to do everything that is bad.
R2 has an excellent point. When I changed my diet (I stay away from sugar and refined grains now; actually, I stay away from almost all processed foods in general), my physical cravings for alcohol disappeared. The mental ones don't, of course, but the absence of physical cravings was a total game changer for me. It became like trying to break any garden variety crappy habit, as opposed to, say, trying to quit smoking.
AA's "Big Book" literally tells you to use sugary foods to deal with your alcohol cravings and, as R2 pointed out, they always serve donuts and crap like that at meetings. Make no mistake, this is done on purpose to perpetuate the cycle.
I also resent AA's blanket generalization that every single person who has ever had a problem with alcohol must NEVER EVER drink again because there is no such thing as learning how to moderate your drinking once it's become destructive. I'm know this is true of many, but it isn't true of everyone. I've learned how to become a moderate social drinker. If all or nothing is what works for you, then that's fine. Good for you. But don't patronize everyone else into thinking that they're so utterly powerless over alcohol that one beer will send them into an uncontrollable downward spiral. I'm not powerless over shit. And don't get me started on the slogan "always recovering, never recovered." What a negative way to go through life, seeing yourself as never fully whole again, never capable of moving on from all talk of drinking and focusing your energy on the here and now. If I felt compelled to attend meetings where all we did we sit around and talk about how booze can destroy I person's life, and had to be reminded constantly what booze once did to my life IN THE PAST, I'd be so depressed.
YOUR FOR WHAT R39. YOU MEAN OBLIVION?
R34, lung cancer is a disease which is a byproduct of nicotine addiction in the case of smoking. In the same vein, alcoholic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver are diseases which are byproducts of an alcohol addiction. In both cases, the addiction itself is not the disease.
What is R40 talking about?
CRAVING I mean.
It's been a long day.
I know non-drinkers that have done it on their own. The twelve step groups are not for everyone.
Typically though, the longer an alcoholic has been drinking, the more support s/he will require to sustain sobriety.
It's important to remember...the disease is progressive, whether drinking or abstaining. Stop for twenty years, start again, in a short time, the brain is in the same mode it would have been if they were drinking.
The one thing I can't stand about 'recovering alcoholics' is when I see them in social settings as they tut-tut over the fact that I actually enjoy having a few drinks now and then. Let me enjoy my cocktails, and stop judging me! I'm not an alcoholic myself, I can stop anytime I want - I just choose to continue to drink. I don't mind feeling a pleasant buzz now and then, is that so wrong? It's not like I'm driving around in a full state of inebriation.
R9, why do you think they might be prone to it? My theory is that it's less about an innate desire for the alcohol itself, but that there are personality traits that incline certain people to have this end up being their mode of undoing. I find this to be fascinating. Tell us about what you have noticed.
I don't know any recovered alcoholics who do that, R45. Stop making shit up.
R45, you are booze porn for alkies. You should charge for the show.
I have ten years coming up and nothing sounds better at 7am on a weekday morning than the thought of a sticky water glass filled with House of Stewart Scotch (where you're guaranteed to heave the first drink!)
It's an addiction, which isn't a disease or a lifestyle choice or anything else you want to call it. Addiction is a category of human misery of its own.
The fact that people do seem to have a genetic predisposition to addiction, and that people frequently become addicts while trying to self-medicate for various mental disorders ranging from anxiety to psychosis, complicates the matter greatly, especially as we do such a piss-poor job of identifying and treating psychological problems in the first place.
Also, all our current methods of treating addictions have a disappointingly high failure rate.
R10 nailed it.
It's not a fucking disease, and I hate when people say it is.
"Is lung cancer not a real disease for a smoker?"
Yes, R34. Nobody is questioning that addictive behaviors can cause physical damage. Alcohol consumption can cause liver cirrhosis and smoking can cause lung cancer. Both liver cirrhosis and cancer are diseases. The topic being discussed is whether alcohol addiction in and of itself is a disease. If so, what are the characteristics of alcohol addiction that differentiate it from other addictions such as heroin addiction and smoking?
If alcoholism is a disease, is this in virtue of the fact that cravings exist for alcohol or is it only a disease if the individual is actively consuming the substance? Furthermore, if the recovered alcoholic no longer craves alcohol are they still considered to have a disease? If so, is this because they still have the potential of developing the addiction? If so, then would a person who has never consumed alcohol yet has a genetic predisposition or potential for developing this addiction also be considered to have a disease and how would this be diagnosed?
Saying it's a disease is an excuse a lot of alcoholics like to use: "it's not my fault I get shitfaced drunk every night! I have a DISEASE!"
AA isn't a business. Geesh!
I think it's, more often than not, a combination of having an anxiety disorder like OCD and a predisposition for sugar sensitivity. However, it's no more a disease than having blue eyes is a disease. These are simply genetic traits. Fair skinned people should wear sunblock or they will commonly get skin cancer. Anxious, obsessives with sugar sensitivities should often avoid booze if they don't want to get Wernicke-Korsakoff's.
People who think that characterising addiction as a disease is simply a way for the addict to evade responsibility for their actions are clueless about addiction. People can be predisposed to addiction, which compromises (but does not completely absolve) their responsibility for choices made re the object of addiction. Addiction itself can alter the brain's physiological state, which compromises (but does not absolve) their responsiblity for choices made re the object of addiction. As some of the smarter, more observant posters above have noted, many addicts know what they are doing is destructive and causing them misery, and they would stop if it was simply a matter of deciding to do so. Addiction often makes it very difficult to 'just say no', even if that's in the best interest of the addict and their loved ones. Quibble about whether it fits within the definition of 'disease' all you want - the fact is, addiction involves physiological factors that impair the addict's ability to make objective choices. This is not a 'get out of jail free' card absolving them of any responsibility for their actions, but it needs to be borne in mind when formulating strategies to tackle addiction. Addicts are one of the last remaining groups in society against which everyone still feels free to discriminate. Trying a little harder to understand the addict and their addiction would probably be far more fruitful in helping them to overcome it.
Excellent post, r55.
Disease/condition/inclintion/genetic predispostion, it's kind of a game of semantics. I agree with R55, it's not like the alcoholics can't not help it at all, but it's something destructive that has a grip on them.
As I said before, I think it's less about the physical addiction itslef, but more about certain characteristics that make this the weakness of certain people. Before becoming alcoholics, it's not like they genetically craved the alcohol more than others.
I haven't had a drink in several years, after many years of destructive binge drinking.
I still want to drink, but I know what will happen if I start again. Maybe not the first or second, or even the third or fourth evening; but eventually I will end up in the gutter again.
I CHOOSE not to drink, because I am now sane. I believe alcoholism is a mental illness, from which I have recovered.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease of the brain. It can only remiss with abstinence.
There are many that argue that it is not a disease, and many more that understand that it is.
it it were a disease, than how come abstinence is the only cure? that is essentially basic will power!
Is addiction not a disease?
Alcoholism is real. However, I don't believe at all that it's a disease. From what I have seen and experienced, it is no more than an addiction. To say it is a disease would be, in a way, to displace blame on something else other than the individual -- genes, upbringing, environmental factors, etc.
After growing up with a violent alcoholic father, a depressive alcoholic mother (whom my father tried to kill in front of my eyes as a child), and having had my own issues with alcoholism, I found that AA and Al-Anon are short-sighted and somewhat materialistic groups. To be perfectly blunt, they struck me as no more than feel-good cry/talk groups.
For some, these programs work. For others, they offer a 12-step "formula"; and, as each person is a own formula unto himself or herself, these programs can be a recipe for disaster and guilt should an individual continue to drink.
Thinking back to my first drink, I ask myself: did anyone force me to take it? Did someone pour the drink down my throat? What about the second, and third, all the way down to the hundredth, and so on? In simplicity, each drink is no more than a choice. Unless someone is forcing a drink into me (which no one has), I have no one but myself to blame for my drinking.
I've read that researchers have located the "alcoholism gene"; however, my brothers are both straight-edge and avoid alcohol like the plague after seeing how it tore apart our family. Genes depend on activation. My brothers and I have a predisposition to develop alcohol, but that genetic component is not destiny. Every drink I've had in my life was a choice, and it was also my choice to quit. My personal honor depends on it. At the end of the day when I rest my head on my pillow, I take faith in the fact that I was able to save myself. It was INCREDIBLY difficult, but worth it.
I wish peace and an end to the torture of anyone experiencing alcoholism. The choice is, and always has been, yours. If AA and/or Al-Anon help you, then so be it. But they were not the path for me. You don't have to go to those groups to be free.
I can accept alcoholism is a disease.
My issue is how many people who claim to be alcoholics actually are?
What really bothers me are the people who turn their alcoholism into their profession. One day they are just somebody who likes to go out and have a good time - and maybe drink too much. They the next time you see them they are sober, humorless and substance abuse counselors.
I don't drink much but alcoholism runs in my family. I don't care whether it's a disease or not. If designating it as a disease is what it takes in order to get treatment - then fine, it's a disease.
What pisses me off is the lingering puritan streak in Americans. We're so busy pointing fingers and blaming and going on about "personal responsibility" that we overlook what is actually important and dismiss productive ways to address the issue. It's as if we actually prefer attacking someone for having it, rather than focusing on the most effective ways of dealing with it.
It doesn't matter who or what is "at fault" for alcoholism. The science continues to suggest biological factors and I believe in science. If the science turns out to be wrong, so what? I still support treatment, medical and psychological care and whatever after-care programs are most useful to an alcoholic person.
Having known alcoholics in and outside of my own family, they are not moral degenerates, they do not lack willpower, they are not ethically unsound, they simply cannot handle booze. They don't need Americans trapped in the puritan-era mindset giving them shit. It doesn't help, nor does it serve any purpose outside of the smug satisfaction it gives to the puritan him or herself.
We don't need those narrow-minded, judgmental idiots weighing in on alcoholism being a "choice" any more than we need them weighing in on homosexuality being a "choice" because it suits their bigotry to think so. They are ignorant people. They have a right to their opinion and we have a right to dismiss their opinion as ridiculous bullshit.
alcoholics piss me off
My father was an alcoholic, as were several uncles, aunts, cousins, my sister, and my grandfather. It has literally taken the lives of over a dozen of my family members. I started drinking to relieve the pain when I had an abscessed tooth and no dental insurance, about ten years ago. I never stopped, and it controls my life now. I tried AA, but I am so shy that I couldn't stand sharing with that many people. People with alcoholism that runs in the family should never have that first drink. Ever. Not having the $1500 for a root canal and crown for that tooth has now cost me over six figures in lost wages, and will more than likely shorten my lifespan.
R67 - next time safe yourself some trouble.
Don't blame your drinking on a bad tooth.
Combine antihistamine, ibuprofen and NyQuil.
Cancer is a disease.
Drinking is a choice.
Yes R69, I think some of the trouble in thinking of alcoholism as a disease is that it is possible for what people recognize as diseases to happen to anyone, no matter what they do. For example, I don't smoke and don't live or work with smokers so in theory I should never get lung cancer. I could though, it happens. Rare, but possible. Ditto for most other diseases, anyone can get them, some people are at greater risk or there are diseases like sickle cell and tay sachs which afflict specific groups, but even people figuratively minding their own business can still turn up with conditions they had no hand in getting.
I will never be an alcoholic because I don't drink alcohol. There is no other way to become an alcoholic. Is that the difference between addiction and disease? For an addiction you always have to take some action to get it going.
But as someone said upthread, no matter what you call it the result on the ground is the same, lives and families destroyed and getting help is the important thing.
Thank you, R65. Well said.
Growing up in a family of alcoholics, enablers and dry drunks, I have to say if it isn't a disease, it's definitely a disorder.
What is a Codependent Dry Drunk?
Bullshit Nicole. In true alcoholics, only the first drink is a choice. The others are mandated by the lack of control occasioned by the first one.
It is NOT a disease. A disease is a health problem you get involuntarily. People choose to put alcohol into their body. If you had never drank in the first place, you wouldn't be an alcoholic.
BTW, I get sick of people with no self-control that try to say that alcoholism is a disease.
R19 nailed it. I am five years sober and will be for life. Relapse should not & is not a part of real recovery. Look into evidence based recovery programs. AA is a straight up cult.
In the words of the Bickersons
John) Alcohol is not one of my failures
Blanche) No, it's one of your greatest successes
Alcoholism is a fault, like stubborness and being gay.
Well............IS it? I disagree with the current "finding" that obesity is a disease, too. I am FAT FAT FAT and hello, I LIKE to eat. And have emotional issues, but there have been times when I have lost weight. And people can stop drinking.
You get cancer, now THAT's a disease. COPD. ANY number of diseases out there.
(Of course, my father drank. We refused to say the word "alcoholic"; should have. He ended up stopping drinking after colon cancer surgery.)
I am sorry for people who become addicted; addiction is a terrible thing. No one becomes an alcoholic overnight. No excuse, but perhaps I should have been more understanding of my father; he was in WWII. Which doesn't make him any better than anyone else; also, there are men from WWII that weren't alcoholics but ever since I read stats about WWI veterans...
ANYhow, sorry - I agree that it isn't a disease. I make a distinction between addiction and disease.
(sorry for rambling; can't sleep...)
You can indeed "give yourself a disease". Very few cancers (if any) are not caused by environmental and/or behavioural factors.
Also, to all of those who say that alcoholism is not a disease, I suppose it comes down to whether or not you consider mental illness to be a disease. Disease is defined as:
A condition in humans, animals or plants that results in pathological symptoms and is not the result of physical injury.
Or, a disorder, in humans, animals or plants with recognizable signs and often with a known cause.
Sounds like alcoholism, and any other mental illness, to me.
Itsh a disheash! But they didn't know back in Momma and Poppa'sh Day! Did you know who my mother was?
Lots of scientists and experts posting on this thread.
Mental diseases are indeed diseases.
[quote]It is NOT a disease. A disease is a health problem you get involuntarily. People choose to put alcohol into their body. If you had never drank in the first place, you wouldn't be an alcoholic.
So, then, following this logic:
If one chose to smoke, their lung cancer cannot be called a disease
If one chose to eat sugar and carbs, their diabetes cannot be called a disease
If one chose to engage in risky sex, their HIV/AIDS cannot be considered a disease...
Should I go on?
It's not a disease. An alcoholic who says that he's suffering from a "disease" is just trying to absolve himself (or herself) from blame. Alcoholics tend to do that, that is, attempt to make it seem like it's not their fault they're alcoholics.
Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. If it was a disease, wouldn't anyone who drinks alcohol get it? No, it's not a disease. It's an addiction. Some more people are more prone to be alcoholics/drug addicts than others, but and addicts are fully responsible for their own actions. Calling their addiction a "disease" is nothing but denial.
Like Alcoholism and Mental Illness, Obesity is a Disease too. It seems ignorance here on thie thread is as well!
R8. Thank you for sharing your story with us and g-d bless. You are a good son.
I think addiction is a disease deeply rooted in genetics. Those denying this seem to think addiction can be cured by will and strength of character and that simply is not true.
R82 People choose to engage in risky sex, people choose to smoke, and people choose to eat bad foods, but NOBODY has ever said they chose to get diabetes, lung cancer, or HIV/AIDS. It's a matter of people thinking they're invincible and thinking nothing bad will happen to them, and then they learn the hard way it can.
I stand by my statement: People CHOOSE to put alcohol in their body, and if you'd never started in the first place, you wouldn't have an alcohol problem.
It's a matter of learning some damn self control.
In most cases, alcoholism is a moral failing which becomes a physical problem.
The same is true for obesity.
The same is true of drug addiction.
What these all have in common is that the person starts drinking, eating or using the drug in progressively greater abuse. As the abuse continues, actual physiological changes occur in the body, creating a cycle of abuse - think the changes in dopamine receptors as you abuse crystal meth.
I believe it is a physical condition as I have seen medical evidence that reveals different brain functions of an alcoholic and it has nothing to do with the ingestion of liquor. There is a chemical component that alcoholics do not have. For instance, my children are not alcoholics, but they do have the propensity for addiction.
Those who say it is a compulsion are correct. It is part of the disease. By the way, I got thrown out of outpatient rehab for repeated using, but I then proved I could do it by quitting on my own. Went to AA And couldn't get past the religious aspects of the group.
R87, your reasoning only works if the individual somehow knew their body had the faulty chemistry that would make them vulnerable to developing addictions. Unfortunately, there is no test for this.
None of them are "moral failings" R88. What poppycock. Your post shows unethical and violent tendencies, true, but you shouldn't project your own struggles onto others, especially not pleasant jolly fat people.
oh r91, where do I begin - you're the one projecting - none of these reflect struggles beyond the extra couple pounds that are a natural part of aging. You sound like someone who needed to look externally to blame his problems.
The abdication of personal responsibility which comes with the cry of 'disease' obviates any need for the individual to analyze personal choices and decisions. While there are many similarities between a disease and addiction, the notable differences raised in previous replies suggest the true limitations of this model for both identifying and treating it.
At no point did I suggest that alcoholics do not deserve compassion or support. At no point did I suggest they should be left to die in the gutter. Your ridiculous and unfounded accusation of being unethical or violent are the result of an immature and infantile mind stamping it's feet and crying because someone else has a different point of view.
The interaction between psychological and physical in the pathologies of addiction warrant continued study. Rather than helping, the adoption of a flawed model merely puts an end to continued research, as well as damages people by giving them false causes.
Considering this thread is from 2011, it seems that there is an ongoing difference of 'opinion'. However, if obesity is a disease, than alcoholism certainly is as well.
Alcoholism is the symptom, not the disease. The disease is mental illness - depression, anxiety, etc.
[quote]Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic. If it was a disease, wouldn't anyone who drinks alcohol get it? No, it's not a disease. It's an addiction.
My neighbor smoked heavily for 87 years--unfiltered cigarettes in an FDR-style holder. He died at 104, of natural causes. No lung cancer (disease), emphysema (disease), or heart/arterial disease.
Nope, R83, despite your "logic," not everyone who smokes gets cancer. But some do. Not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic, either. But someone who has the disease of alcoholism develops the condition of alcoholism.
R95, smokers are more likely to get serious heart disease, pulmonary disease, circulatory system disease, strokes, and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - but mostly serious heart disease that will cut their life short - than they are to get cancer.
Although smoking does cause many different types of cancer all over the body - not just lung cancer.
What is your point, R95, giving one isolated example of someone who beat the odds?
Do you ever look at the obituaries in the newspaper? The obituaries are full of people dying in their 60's.
It is an addiction or disorder that leads to disease.
R8 and R85
If locking you in an empty room cures you, it's not a disease.
Have cancer and get locked in a room, you still have cancer.
Have arthritis and are locked in a room, you still have arthritis.
Have MS and are locked in a room, you still have MS.
Have an addiction and are locked in a room, ooh, look all better. It's an addiction, not a disease. Take some damn responsibility.
Also, in general, people can't cure themselves of disease through willpower or not having enough money for your next fix.
Alcoholism isn't CURED, it's managed. You can abstain for the rest of your life, but you will always be an alcoholic.
I've been sober for over twenty years and I do not believe alcoholism is a disease. I do believe that there is a genetic component to substance abuse in terms of the way your body reacts to it, but that's not a disease.
It is a psychological disorder with roots in many different issues. Ultimately, abstaining (for some) and dealing with the underlying issues is key to staying healthy.
Just my two cents.
R 45, you say recovering alcoholics lecture. Are they being bombarded with questions on why they don't drink? I gave up alcohol, and I still get people asking me why I don't drink. I usually give a generic " health reasons", but they persist.