Anonymous Author – Alcoholism isn’t a disease
Medicine has made leaps and bounds over the past century in terms of treatment of illness and disease. We have dedicated many areas of science to developing courses of treatment and development of new medicines to treat diseases. There is a lot of debate and speculation in the medical field regarding alcoholism.
While many addiction specialists call alcoholism a disease, by definition it is not a disease. Rather, alcoholism is a choice. When we think of disease, we think of things beyond our control. Nobody asks for a disease. According to the American Medical Association, the definition of disease changes constantly. It can be any abnormal condition which is undesireable. In that case, we can assume just about any kind of deviant behavior or undesireable actions can be considered a disease. If this is how we define disease, then by all accounts a person who robs gas stations has a disease, since their behavior causes undesireable results.
Alcoholism is a choice. When therapists and pop psychologists began giving the term “disease” to alcoholism, they strip the alcoholic ofresponsibility for his or her actions. An alcoholic has two choices:
2. Don’t drink.
We could go so far as to say that somebody who abuses alcohol uses poor judgement. I would not go so far as to say he has a disease. He made a bad choice. He drank. He didn’t become afflicted with a condition he had no choice in. He decided to drink, and he became addicted. It is that cut and dried.
Many people disagree with the concept of alcoholism being a choice. About 90% of the United States population would say, if asked, that alcoholism is a disease. This is only because in today’s society we have taken all accountability off the person who chose to drink.
Addiction treatment is a multi-million dollar industry. If we were to take the term “disease” away from the addiction to alcohol, it makes the addict accountable himself. It also means insurance companies would fail to pay the cost of receiving help for addiction.This means addiction recovery treatment would no longer bring in the amount of revenue it does. It also means that people would have to face the ugly fact that they are responsible for their own behaviors, rather than blaming something else for their undesireable actions.
Even in addiction treatment, accountability is often left out of the treatment program, which begs the question: how do people ever plan to make better choices? If there is always going to be somebody or something else to blame, won’t those scapegoats always be there? People can seldom count on making better choices, like not to drink, if they know there is a percieved acceptable excuse for making poor choices–like labeling those choices as a disease.