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CanadaCraig Offline
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Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 25th 2009, 10:22 AM

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're having a super fine day.

I'm very familiar with 12-steps groups. I've gone to literally hundreds of O.A. [Overeaters Anonymous] meetings in my life and am presently going to CODA meetings. [Codependents Anonymous] Most 12-step groups use the same book found at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. That book is often referred to as 'The Big Book'. I grew up with an alcoholic dad and have a drug addicted sister. Why the preamble? Just to let you know that in the 'world' that I live in - I'm very familiar with most [IF not all] of the terminology and little catch phrases, etc. heard at 12-step meetings. I'm also very familiar with the idea expressed AT those meetings [Especially A.A. meetings and meetings for people addicted to drugs - like Narcotics Anonymous, etc.] that their addiction is a DISEASE. I - for one - have always objected to that idea. To ME - an alcoholic and/or drug addict is not a diseased person. To ME - the word 'disease' implies an innocence that is not there. Besides - the fact that we often have to suffer the consequences of the choices we make in life - does not mean that we have a disease.

What do YOU think?!

Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?!


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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 25th 2009, 01:07 PM

Hey Craig.
I think it all depends on the persons perspective when they look at alcoholism. For me I've really not thought of it as a disease just an addiction. But if you really look deep into it can be a disease.
You say that a disease takes over an innocent person. Well I guarantee you that any alcoholic doesnt steps out into the world at age five and says "I WANT TO BECOME AN ALCOHOLIC" it just sort of grows slowly into that. So in a way it does rob and innocent person.
Also a disease is something that takes over ones body and is hard to fight without the proper help. It takes over ones life and it can sometimes be nasty.
Alcoholism does the exact same thing to one. So yes alcoholism can be considered a disease.

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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 25th 2009, 03:23 PM

I don't know, I've always believed it is a disease. I mean, I look at my uncle, who's been an alcoholic for 20 odd years, though he has been sober for the last three. I honestly cannot blame him in the slightest. He didn't ask for this and I really do think he's innocent. Though, I don't if it's in all circumstances. Alcoholism runs in my family. I have an aunt and two uncles from the same side who are (recovering) alcoholics. It just seems to be something that's there and won't go away. I know none of them set out to become alcoholics, just like nobody sets out to have cancer, so I, personally, believe it is a disease.

I respect what you're saying though, Craig.
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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 25th 2009, 04:21 PM

i do think its a disease. Well maybe not a disease, but an innate personality flaw that someone maybe cant help, and it just means drink takes over their lives. I read somewhere that the part of the brain that makes them pick up the drink again, is located particularly far away from the logic part.

Saying that ive seen families torn apart by alcoholism, and cant understand why sometimes its hard to pity them. I believe that 99% of people are good people, and cant think that so many would set out to do something like that to ones they love. Be it nature or nurture, i like to keep that faith, because im not perfect and would hope others would give me the courtesy of not judging either.

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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 26th 2009, 01:25 AM

I have always seen it as more of an addiction then a disease personally. But everyone has their opinions, and there are many different theories out there.

But I never considered it any different then being addicted to a drug, or to nicotine. Maybe others disagree, it's just my opinion.
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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 26th 2009, 02:05 AM


I'm really glad that I'm not the only person who can recite 12-step programs by heart.

I have an alcoholic father, who AA has helped him. And I currently go to Ala-Teen (Which if you've never been, you should check out an Ala-Non meeting sometime if the 12-step stuff helps you) and I disagree with perhaps 50% of what they say? The main one is that it is a disease. I can see however your brain works, some people are addicts and some are not. I feel that people use it as an excuse, and actually me and my mom have talked about it a lot. Whether it is a "disease" or not, this doesn't mean you can write off what the people have done.

I do agree that I don't feel this is a disease though, though for some reason I can't seem to use words to explain my thinking today.

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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 26th 2009, 03:06 AM

Y'know I'm not too familiar with these kinds of meetings. But i think telling them it is a disease is more part of the program than a fact.

It would take the guilt off their shoulders somewhat, make them feel it is not their fault and help them get through it.
I don't think sending them on a guilt trip and telling them it was all their fault that they were addicted would be a very productive way to go about things.

That's just my view on things though. I've never actually been to one of these meetings. I do not think alcoholism is a disease though, in my opinion an addiction to alcohol is nothing more than an addiction and yes; it is your fault for feeding your body these substances and making it crave more.

Thanks for putting up with me <.<

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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 26th 2009, 03:33 AM

I think it's ridiculous that it's called a disease, and some may see me as 'heartless' for thinking so...
Though it does impair organs and harms the body, diseases aren't self caused.

Help my little eggiweggs! =D Prease?

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Re: Is alcoholism really a DISEASE?! - May 26th 2009, 08:19 AM

Originally Posted by wtfemilie View Post
Though it does impair organs and harms the body, diseases aren't self caused.
Surely you consider cancer a disease. And while many of the forms of cancer just happen, cancer from smoking is self caused, as the smoker would not have gotten the cancer without their choice to smoke.

But anyway, where I work I have seem too many people go through detoxification from drinking every minute of every day to be convinced that it is not a disease.
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