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Alcoholism is a Weakness - Not a Disease

by Big Mike
(Virginia)

Alcoholism as well as addiction to anything is a weakness, not a disease.

Everyone I've met throughout my entire 56 years on this planet that have been or still is an alcoholic or drug abuser has an underlining reason why they started drinking heavily to begin with.

I just lost a very good friend of mine of over 40 years. Richy, instead of expressing his emotions during a crises such as a death in the family he would turn to the bottle. His alcoholism eventually killed him.

When Richy was 16, his father passed away after a losing battle with leukaemia. His brother Steve died several years later, then his son was killed in a wreck, then his mom died. Richy never ever shed a single tear during any of those crises. Instead he’s turn to the bottle for his comfort.

For as long as I’ve known Richy, he was almost never w/o a beer or drink. He’d go to work (sober) and get drunk when he was at home. His wife was in denial for many years.

Don’t get me wrong, I partied really hard as well in my youth. However during a breakup with a girl friend or the death of a family member, I’d express my grief or deal with it w/o getting drunk or high.

My current girl friend, her father is an alcoholic. He as with Richy, instead of dealing with whatever life sends his way, he’d escape(?) into the bottle.

I’ve met various other people throughout my life that were drunks or drug addicts and every single one of them had some underlining reason for turning to the bottle or drug.

The many diseases that come from the weakened immune system because of the abuse are many.
However alcoholism / drug addiction a disease, no way. If we were to believe alcoholism / drug addiction is a disease, then how about sex addicts, or any other vices people are consumed with are all these to be construed as a disease as well, where does it end?
Shal ' aam
AAPiY
Mike

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Agree NEW
by: Anonymous

I grew up with people who were alcoholics and it is definitely a WEAKNESS. It became a disease when the doctors called it a disease so insurance companies would cover their recovery with insurance. I drank a lot as a young adult but only on weekends and I was sad many times and drank because of it but also turned to God in prayer to help me. I don't drink at all now and have known relatives who quit cold turkey when told they could die from it soon. Just like smoking, drugs and eating, it's a weakness if you overdo it.
We all have weaknesses and have to WANT to control them.

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Semantics
by: Anonymous

Is it a weakness? Yes, just as being obese or having OCD or hypertension or, etc...Alcoholism has nothing to do with moral fiber or character. Is it a disease? Not sure- the American Medical Ass. seems to think so. In any event, it is a malady centered in the brain. Call it insanity, mental disorder, depression, etc...Comparing it to sex addiction or other behavioral issues is not really pertinent. Sex addiction doesn't have a biological component- it doesn't degenerate your organs or give you withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism seems to be a mental disorder that manifests itself through the consumption of alcohol. Drinking is a choice, BUT for the alcoholic that choice is an affected one- IE: it's not the same choice as a non-alcoholic. I'm an alcoholic and these are just my opinions. If it isn't a medical issue on some level- mental, physical, cellular...then what is it? If you really think about it, everything is chemical, cellular. What is "character", "strength", "weakness"? If depression (sadness) is accepted scientifically, why shouldn't alcoholism? Strange where the lines are drawn on such things. That's my 2c.

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I understand
by: Anonymous

I understand your point of view. But the truth of the matter is that addiction, in any form, is by definition a disease. I know it's difficult to fathom this concept if your a non-addict, and it takes some families years to truly understand. I hope that you will investigate this line of thought on your own, and don't go by your observations and experience... No matter how much material you have. The truth is, this is a worldwide problem that has killed millions upon millions of people. People that are hard working, determined, and strong willed... But will power has nothing to do with it. A problem this specific cannot intelligently be entered as simply human weakness. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling, and powerful.... Please encourage those that are sick, instead of calling them weak. God Bless. :)

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No.
by: Anonymous

You are an idiot. Alcoholism is anything but a moral weakness. Yes, people choose to begin drinking. But the decision to stop drinking is one that some people are GENETICALLY incapable of doing. I hope you realize one day how ignorant and dumb this article made you sound.

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Disease or not a disease
by: Greg A

The classification of alcohol addiction as a disease serves the purpose of compelling insurance carriers to cover treatment costs. I can't imagine them paying to treat "weakness of character".

The disease classification also helps alcoholics avoid self-blame and the resulting self loathing by placing the cause of the excessive drinking on a an illness, rather than on the indivual.

My personal experince with alcohol addiction is that it began when I was 15. When I took a little bit out of all of the bottles in the big, fancy booze cabinet and mixed them together with Coco Cola, I felt good about myself for the first time in my life. I had discovered a cure for my deep self hatred.

Whether it's truly a disease or not, eventually I was unable to stop, regardless of consequences. Alcohol was the "medicine" that enabled me to cope with the traumatic stresses caused by sadistic and brutal parents.

Was it a weakness that I couldn't live without it over extended periods of time? Perhaps, but the problem is that I experienced major depression episodes when I quit that the nearly killed me. It's entirely possible that alcohol saved my life for a time.

Even AA recognizes that drinking is only a symptom deeper problems that need to be addressed--like in my case. I've been diagnosed as having both Bipolar 3 disorder and ADD. Reading up on these disorders has increased my ability to abstain from alcohol and treat these disorders properly--NOT DRINKING.

So is alcohol addiction a disease? Frankly, I don't give a damn. I know what I need to to now.

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Thanks for sharing
by: C-P

Mike, you raise some valid points. The thing is, it's not about what gets someone drinking. It's the fact that they can't control it once they start.
That's what separates an alcoholic from a non-alcoholic. A non-alcoholic may through grief turn to alcohol like your friend did. But at some point he'll be able to stop and get himself back on track. He has that control over his drinking. An alcoholic will lose that control and keep going because the need to continue to drink will be so overwhelming. That's when it becomes a disease, you lose control over it. But like I always say, at the end of the day whether it's a disease or not shouldn't matter. Getting help and treatment for it is the exact same in either case.
Thanks for your input.

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