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Alcoholism is Not a Disease

Many people call alcoholism a disease. If it is a disease, then it is the only disease without germ or virus, the only one that is bottled and sold over the counter for a profit and brings in tax revenue for the government, state, county and state. If it is a disease, then it is the only disease that turns our boys into criminals and our girls into prostitutes. Why is it that we do not call cocaine or heroin addiction a disease? Because, to do that would be absolutely ridiculous. We know that is not the truth. Why is this same standard not applied to the most dangerous drug manifest in this country, “alcohol”?

Those who have become alcoholics did not become so overnight it all started by taking that one drink, and that put them on the road to drunkenness. Webster defines alcoholism as “the habitual drinking of alcoholic liquor to excess, or a diseased condition caused by this.”

At face value this seems to be an accurate description of someone with alcoholism. Ask most people and they would agree with this definition. However, there are some discrepancies and misinformation in our current use of the term alcoholism that need to be acknowledged. Mainly that alcoholism is not a disease, but a belief. Nowhere has it been proven that the disease exists. Read any literature and the results will not confidently state it is a disease. They will only speculate. The following is a quick and realistic look at "alcoholism". Alcoholism is not a disease, find out how many have already realized that alcoholism and addiction is a choice.

Alcoholism carries with it a stigma that says the person afflicted cannot control their use of alcohol, they are powerless over alcohol, they are spiritually lacking and need to surrender their will to a higher power, and that they have a disease for the rest of their life.

It is unfortunate that we have transformed the term "alcoholism" into a limited definition of a disease. For though it is not a disease, the mere fact that people believe it is a disease, makes it harder for them to escape it's clutches. I believe it does a disservice to those who struggle with alcohol or drugs because it promotes powerlessness and dependency. To look at alcoholism as it truly is (a belief) is to understand and take control of our own individual role in overcoming it. Beliefs can be powerful, but so can the truth. Find out how the majority of those who once struggled with alcohol and drugs changed their lives, and refused to acknowledge alcoholism as a disease.

Many disease model spokespersons are recovered alcoholics and have an emotional investment in viewing themselves as helpless to their own behaviors. A majority of these people are seriously lacking in scientific backgrounds. They say scientific validity ''interferes with the process'' of helping people who need help and claim special qualification to help others. They perceive any challenge to the disease concept as ''a challenge to the validity of their own emotional ordeal and conversion to sobriety.''

The treatment industry also has a substantial economic investment in maintaining the disease concept. As long as alcoholism is considered a disease, medical insurance pays for treating it.

Is the disease model of alcoholism scientific? No. Simply calling behavior a disease process does not make it one, even if doing so assists in creating sobriety. Is the treatment policy based on bad science? Yes. Is there any chance that this attitude will change in the near future? Very unlikely.