Alcoholism isn’t a disease – Anonymous Author
Alcoholism is not a disease. It could cause a disease, something malfunctioning within the body; but even at its most destructive, the drive to drink excessively is more a symptom of other conditions than a disease in and of itself. Although so-called alcoholics may experience physical manifestations of being poisoned, chief among them the physical need for alcohol to rid the body of withdrawal symptoms, this is not a disease but a vicious cycle. When the medical community “cures” alcoholics, it does so by trying to introduce enough emotional strength in the alcoholics so that they don’t need alcohol. The treatment is not about alcohol. Alcohol may be damaging to one’s body but requires no medication to fix (with the exception, perhaps, of Alabuse, which makes any alcohol consumption immediately painful and uncomfortable for the alcoholic). Sure, people who drink alcohol need alcohol — but they also need air, and water and food.
Just because alcohol is not necessary for existence, why should reliance on its effects be called a disease when reliance on oxygen isn’t seen as such? The body is not meant to live forever; but we should be able to enjoy life. Sometimes compulsiveness makes us go too far, but this can happen with almost any substance – water, soda, candy, movies, porn, shoplifting, religion. While many see the effects of alcoholism as a social
“disease”, this is metaphorical. Without alcohol, where would we be? Only using other crutches, trying to deal with an existence whose meaning we are not privy to.
Introducing a substance into one’s body is not a disease. It could be a disorder, but alcoholism is not what needs to be cured, it’s what brought the alcoholic to overly rely on the spirits in the first place. Therefore the “disease” needs to be redefined. If someone has a chronic illness in which certain symptoms are manifested, the medical community should search for ways to treat the illness at its root rather than mask the symptoms.