Tuesday, May 11
Alcoholism Is Not A Disease
Alcoholism is not a Disease
“In 1976, the writer Ivan Illich warned in a book, Limits to Medicine, that 'the medical establishment has become a major threat to health'. At the time, he was dismissed as a maverick, but a quarter of a century later, even the medical establishment is prepared to admit that he may well be right. (Anthony Browne, April 14, 2002, the Observer)”
History and science have shown us that the existence of the disease of alcoholism is pure speculation. Just saying it’s so, doesn’t make it true.
Nevertheless, medical professionals and American culture lovingly embraced the disease concept and quickly applied it to every possible deviant behavior from alcohol abuse to compulsive lecturing.
The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology.
Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual.
In a recent Gallup poll, 90% of people surveyed believe that alcoholism is a disease. Most argue that because the American Medical Association (AMA) has proclaimed alcoholism a disease, the idea is without reproach.
But, the fact is that the AMA made this determination in the absence of empirical evidence. After reviewing the history of the decision, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the AMA has been pursuing its own agenda in the face of evidence negating the validity of alcoholism.
The disease concept strips the substance abuser of responsibility. A disease cannot be cured by force of will, therefore, adding the medical label transfers the responsibility from the abuser to others. Inevitably they become unwilling victims, and inevitably they take on that role.
In retrospect then, the disease concept has effectively increased alcoholism and drug abuse. Furthermore, its only benefit has been vast monetary reward for the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services. Specifically, it has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.
Further, it is beyond the grasp of logic for medical professionals to prescribe meeting attendance as a remedy for an “incurable” medical ailment, not to mention a contradiction to the supposed nature of the problem.
The disease, as described by 12 steppers, is all powerful; it is a separate entity and without meetings it will destroy them. But, with some thought one realizes, these ideas are mutually exclusive. To point out the obvious, if someone is “powerless” they would, by definition, not be able to control themselves, not even one day at a time.
The absurdities do not stop with 12 Step groups; professionals contribute their own set of absurdities. For example, the AMA’s definition of alcoholism is: “Alcoholism is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking; by chronicity, by progression and by a tendency toward relapse.
The disease-mongers gnaw away at our self-confidence. Inappropriate medicalisation carries the dangers of unnecessary labeling, poor treatment decisions, economic waste, as well as the costs that result when resources are diverted from treating or preventing more serious disease. At a deeper level, it may help to feed obsessions with health.”(CNE Health)
Then there is the DSM IV criterion for diagnosing alcohol abuse. It also does not include physically measurable symptoms. It only requires social and/or legal problems.
It should be pointed out that there is a major conflict of interest among drug counselors, a conflict of interest that cannot be ignored. The majority are, themselves, members of 12 step groups and are believers in AA dogma. These non-professional counselors have been manipulated into believing 12-Step propaganda. And, like the AMA, their status allows them to convince patients they need help because they are sick.
The disease concept oozes into every crevice of our society perpetuating harmful misinformation that hurts the very people it was intended to help.
It is a backwards situation where the assumptions of a few were adopted as fact by the medical profession, without evidence, and soon after, accepted by the public. With this said, visiting the history of the disease concept gives us all a better understanding of how and why all of this happened.
It is speculated that the disease concept originated in the 1800's with a fellow by the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush. He believed alcoholics were diseased and used the idea to promote his prohibitionist political platform.
(Thanks to OHI (Mark) for finding this gem
This is a site aimed at those with a substance abuse problem.
Be it alcohol or dope or both. Sober or not.
It is also a secular site. God, Jesus, or any H.P. is not required. Although people that do require such things are very much welcome.
It is also an adult oriented site, as such, adult language will be encountered.