View Poll Results: Is Alcoholism a disease or a behavior?

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Thread: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

  1. #11
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    So those of us who follow baseball have seen Detroit Tiger's First Basemen Miguel Cabrera's latest drinking **** up. Whenever the subject is brought up in the media, they always refer to it as a disease. I don't buy into the disease theory, in my opinion it's a behavior because you can stop being an alcoholic without medication by just simply putting down the bottle. I believe the disease theory is just to rationalize and cover the social stigma that is associated with being addicted to the sauce.
    I haven't read the entire thread, but here's my opinion on the OP.

    Well, you can't really pin it as an "either/or" situation. For some people, it is behavior, but for others it is genetic.

    Now, technically speaking, no, I don't think alcoholism is a disease. People can't catch it like a cold or leukemia. However, I think a better term for it would be a disorder. It is a condition that is either mental or genetic that lends them towards drinking alcoholic beverages to excess and to become addicted to the effects of alcohol.

    Now the genetic condition of alcoholism can't be avoided. Some people with certain biological tendencies find it very easy to become addicted to alcohol and it's effects. I absolutely believe that some people have biological tendencies to addiction.

    The issue is that it's not the fault of these people that they have biological tendencies to addiction. However, what is the fault of these people is not seeking help once they get addicted.

    Biological addiction tendencies can never be "cured." However, once a person learns that they have it, they need to be taught to be responsible about their behaviors and deal with things healthily. For instance, they should avoid scenarios where they may be tempted or encouraged to drink, even socially.

    With regards to the behavioral condition of alcoholism, while it is not biological in nature, and therefore not fundamental, does not mean that it's easier to address. In fact, it could be argued that behavioral alcoholism is more difficult to deal with because of the tendency of the person to pursue addictive behaviors elsewhere in lieu of alcoholism. For instance, he may no longer drink alcohol, but he may do other things to fill in that behavior, such as gamble or use recreational drugs.

    The reason behind behavioral substance abuse - alcohol, as well as pharmaceuticals - is because they become coping mechanisms to deal with stress.

    We all face stress and anxiety in our lives. For instance, dealing with our co-workers, dealing with our boss, dealing with customers, dealing with our significant other, dealing with our friends, and dealing with our family. We have a lot to deal with each and every day.

    What's important is how we deal with those issues. The best is to find healthy ways of dealing with those stressors. This includes talking calmly and quietly with each other. But that demands the other person's cooperation. When that doesn't come about, another good way is to just drop the issue. Sometimes people worry about things that they shouldn't worry about, and realizing that can lead to a less stressful life. And when it comes to a person's own anxiety, having time for quiet and to relax is extremely important.

    Other ways to de-stress is to pursue activities that cause pleasure. This is why people feel better after eating, or after swimming, or after jogging, or after sexual activity - all of these things release pleasure chemicals in our brain.

    The reason they do so is because it's our body's way of making sure we do these things. Eating feels good to ensure we always maintain energy. Swimming and jogging feels good to ensure we maintain our physical strength. Sexual activity feels good to ensure that we breed. All of these activities are pleasurable to ensure we maintain a healthy quality of life.

    But not everybody is taught good healthy ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. This is how behavioral disorders develop. Especially when people face stressors that are too great for their coping mechanisms to deal with.

    When this occurs, people will seek out ways to activate the pleasure centers in their brain to bring their anxiety down to a level they can more easily cope with. Because of what's going on in their life, they cannot pursue the activities needed to de-stress healthily. Therefore, they pursue activities that cause them to de-stress unhealthily.

    This is why certain social groups such as the poor, prisoners, and the military are prone to substance abuse. The poor have to work very long hours with very little pay to maintain a basic standard of living, and so don't have the time to pursue more healthy ways to de-stress. Prisoners are forced to be with others who have antisocial and sociopathic people as well as prone to abuses from the guards, and so have very little opportunity to de-stress as their lives are in danger. Those who serve in the military are often ordered to perform actions that go against their personal moral code but are forced to do it for the furtherance of the military's agenda, and so the moral dissonance between those can caused servicemen to cloud it out through substance abuse.

    This is why the poor, prisoners, and the military are prone to alcoholism and addiction to heroin and other opiates. They do not have the coping mechanisms needed to healthy live in their environments and so seek substances that allow them to cope despite how unhealthy the use of such substances are.

    What's needed for these types of addicts is long-term counseling on their behavior to seek out the root of why they use alcohol and other substances to cope and to teach that person healthier ways of coping instead. This type of counseling is not easy and it's not quick, but, if done successfully, will help the addict lead a more actualized healthier life.

    So if you want to use a "one-size-fits-all" diagnosis for a condition - well, you can't. And it's just plain stupid to try. And an attempt to do so is extremely unfair to those who suffer alcoholism and substance abuse and want to get help. Because if they do want to get help, which is so ****ing rare to begin with, then it's important for them to get the best diagnosis and type of therapy needed to help them fulfill that. And promoting such simplistic attitudes can only do them a disservice.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  2. #12
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I think it's a disease that alcoholics have brought upon themselves. Addicts' bodies and brains scream for their drug of choice.

    I surely don't think it's cure is as easy as "simply putting down the bottle."
    No, it's not going to be easy, but it certainly is possible with the right treatment and especially with the right mindset of the addict. Far too many addicts, however, use the excuse that it's a disease to continue being addicted. If you don't want to be a non-addict, you're not going to be.
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    So those of us who follow baseball have seen Detroit Tiger's First Basemen Miguel Cabrera's latest drinking **** up. Whenever the subject is brought up in the media, they always refer to it as a disease. I don't buy into the disease theory, in my opinion it's a behavior because you can stop being an alcoholic without medication by just simply putting down the bottle. I believe the disease theory is just to rationalize and cover the social stigma that is associated with being addicted to the sauce.
    Calling it a disease implies that you just minding your own business and someone sneezed on you, you accidentally stepped on a rusty nail, something in the air or some other thing outside of your control and suddenly you became addicted to booze, became fat or a toothpick. Dumb-asses call these things diseases became it makes them look like victims instead of perpetrators. When I see a surge of people in Ethiopia becoming obeast or a surge of alcoholics in hard core muslims countries then I might believe that those things are diseases.
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  4. #14
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    No, it's not going to be easy, but it certainly is possible with the right treatment and especially with the right mindset of the addict. Far too many addicts, however, use the excuse that it's a disease to continue being addicted. If you don't want to be a non-addict, you're not going to be.
    You actually have heard drunks say "it's a disease, so I can't do anything about my messed up life"? I have never, ever heard this, or anything similar. The only people I hear calling it a disease are those people actually attempting or succeeding in fixing their lives. And I have seen a lot of success, because alcoholism is in my family.

    Calling it a disease is a bit of a misnomer, as another has stated, here. Disorder would probably be better, but disease is close enough. And calling it approximately what it is enables the suffering person to more successfully navigate out from under it. That is the way of the world, the truth does set people free.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydriver1123 View Post
    So those of us who follow baseball have seen Detroit Tiger's First Basemen Miguel Cabrera's latest drinking **** up. Whenever the subject is brought up in the media, they always refer to it as a disease. I don't buy into the disease theory, in my opinion it's a behavior because you can stop being an alcoholic without medication by just simply putting down the bottle. I believe the disease theory is just to rationalize and cover the social stigma that is associated with being addicted to the sauce.
    It's both for some, one or the other for the rest.
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  6. #16
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Recovering alcoholics use what works. It "works" to recognize it as a disease. Using this insight they devise successful strategies to avoid alcohol. I have personally witnessed these strategies succeeding. The statistics back up the ongoing success of these strategies.

    You can all continue to pound away at alcoholics with the "it's simply a behavior line ...". I would have one question for you though: Is that working out for ya'?
    You can never be safe from a government that can keep you completely safe from each other and the world. You must choose.

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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    WHy isn't there an 'addiction' option. Def. Addiction over disease.

  8. #18
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    I believe it's a behavior. I've had several alcoholic family members literally drink themselves to death. They refused to stop drinking. Alcoholism is a behavior that can lead to disease.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    I find some of the posts in this thread truly amazing. And not in a good way.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Alcoholism: Disease or Behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    I find some of the posts in this thread truly amazing. And not in a good way.
    I have to ask 'which ones?'
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