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Addiction is not a Disease

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posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 04:47 PM
a reply to: Cornczech

perhaps it's linked to anxiety...which..tadaaaaa...IS a disease...

Perhaps we should stop looking for excuses; ie genetics anxiety family predisposition. I did the "medical route" first to no avail, then the 12 steps. The first step is to admitting we are...

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable"

My family had their share of problem drinkers, they also were in denial that they had a problem or that it was even prevalent. They tried to rationalize my wild behaviour in their minds by looking for an "excuse".

whatever....and should society treat me with SHAMING because I drink? I do not go out to bars and get rowdy...I didn't abuse my kids or fight with my husband, (well...maybe a few fights with HIM...he too, comes form a LONG line of alcoholics).

Do you feel shame that you fought physicaly with your husband? When sober do you have remorse. Dont dwell on the shame. That will restart the need for a drink. You must start with today, one day at a time to reclaim your life. Small steps. Everyday that you are sober is a blessing. Everyday that passes without a drink makes it easier. The triggers will not go away, they are part of everyday life - its how we react to the triggers that will decide if we get re-addicted or not.
Your mind is still in a fog. There are great days of sunshine ahead - it gets easier with practise.

Remember that also alcoholism is a progressive disease - everytime you restart you drink more in a session -

I would give ANYTHING to just wake up and decide that I have had enough

Sounds to me that you have already mentally made that decision - whats stopping you simply saying I HAVE HAD ENOUGH.

TODAY Is the beginning of the rest of my life. Seek out AA or a sponsor to help and whatever you do try to stay away form others who have been drinking, I wish you well in your path to recovery

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 04:48 PM

originally posted by: intrptr
Its possible to become addicted to a great many things, drugs being just one of them. Food, Money, religion, attention, sex, snowboarding.

The problem arises when obsession with something becomes more powerful than reason. Becoming addicted is easy, you delude yourself. When its too much then we are no longer at ease, we are dis-eased. We are consumed.

People strung out on drugs or alcohol need treatment the same way another disease does. They get sick, exhibit serious withdrawal symptoms, they may die. For some period of time they are weak, disoriented, need medication to keep from having secondary infections, they might even kill themselves.

Thats serious stuff. They refer to heavy addiction to serious drugs as a disease because full blown, the addict is a complex problem needing multi phases of treatment and diagnosis, from the physical early on to emotional and even spiritual, once the physical dangers recede.

Anyone that has been in the depths of serious addiction to substances has no trouble seeing why they call it a disease. Among other things I smoked cigarettes for thirty-five years. Thats some physical, emotional dependency I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I've had alcohol binges and not been able to function without it for weeks at a time. But....I stopped, felt like crap for a few days and got back to normal. What you're talking about is the original meaning of the word addiction: physical addiction whereby your body depends on a substance to function normally and when withdrawing this substance, the body reacts with physical symptoms. THAT is physical addiction. It has nothing to do with a "disease" though. You got addicted to something, that's what happened. You stopped it, got over the withdrawal symptoms, got back to normal. That was all an addiction process, not a disease.

When people start talking about gambling obsessively as a "disease", and sex "addiction" as a "disease," let's get real. It's a psychological issue they have developed. Before you take that drink, when you're completely sober and not going through any withdrawal because you're not currently physically addicted, that is a decision that rests on YOU - whether to take that drink or not. If you're already self-aware, you KNOW you should not take that drink. If you do, it's YOU that did it, not your "disease."

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 05:15 PM
a reply to: schuyler

Sure it allow us to look for an external agent to blame - but "flaw in character" That sounds so 15th century.

Treating addictions as diseases...

rather than having to admit to a flaw in character. The "addiction" here is not taking responsibility.

Do you take responsibility if walking in a crowd and you catch the flu from that 1 in 20 people in that crowd who may be contagious. Knowing how statistics and probability work and you expose yourself; should we accuse you of not taking responsibility?

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 05:24 PM
a reply to: SteeBoo

AA/NA are no better, they think a higher power makes you use.

The fact is, they can choose to stop the exact same way they chose to start.

By the way, I spent 7 years in the industry as a detox/inpatient treatment nurse.

No, no and NO. At AA they say that a higher power is needed to help us in putting our trust in the higher power to quit!

Where did you get this "higher power makes you use" Was it part of some Nursing 101 propaganda? Does the free help model of AA conflict with your "fee" model, you are obviously in competition here. Can you give recidivism stats to justify your position?

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 05:37 PM
a reply to: thebtheb

It's a psychological issue they have developed.

In the beginning its psychological, later physical. You said you got drunk some times. Thats different.

The disease part happens later, when it becomes all consuming, life or death.

If you have been deep enough into it to go to AA, you learn that the cycle of addiction often leads to Jail, Hospitals and Death.

Do other 'diseases' lead to jail? Murder? Divorce? Permanent disability?

Cigarettes end up killing people because of lung ailments like emphysema, a plethora of cancers. Smoking is a disease. Nearly impossible to quit. Hardest thing I ever did was quit smoking for good. I still got ailments behind it that will be with me till I die.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:05 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

Its funny we dont go around saying I have a disease; I've been inhaling carbon monoxide from car fumes for the last fifty years.

I suppose not. We would be more inclined to say, "I have developed a disease from inhaling carbon monoxide..." or "I have developed lung disease/cancer/asthma (or whatever) from inhaling carbon monoxide..."

What I've just described shows that 1) there is causal factor 2) physiological change.

Okay. So I'm not sure what your point is. Air pollution would be an environmental factor, would it not. If someone gets lung cancer from the air... or smoking cigarettes... or an unknown reason... the condition is the same. Would you differentiate between a condition brought on by known factors as opposed to a disease brought on by unknown factors?

Am I entitled to lay the blame and seek a lawsuit against the creator of the internal combustion engine or the driver or the Government or the Oil refiner for poisoning me?

You certainly have the right to try. I would prefer that you go after the government, however, because they are the ones who make the laws/regulations allowing such to happen. I'm not sure how that pertains to the OP.

The only correlation I can make is that people with addictions are not entitled to necessary medical care for the adverse physiological effects on their health... and I'm pretty sure that's not what you mean.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:45 PM
a reply to: onequestion

For me, meditation, training, discipline, determination, will, and understanding what motivations are driving me to drink are what works.

Understanding the reward mechanisms is huge for me. I need to know what problem in "solving".

I never had an addiction I was a binge user

I like yours and MystikMushrooms contributions to this thread. Thanks.

You say you never had an addiction but binged. I dont want to sound judgemental but I cant reconcile "driving me to drink" and "binge." Surely that can be construed as "addiction?" It sets up a repeating cycle that you're uncomfortable with. You admitted to "violence", a classic symptom of end result of extreme drinking. I know that labelling reinforces and stigmatizes oneself, but the cold hard truth to me was being told that giving up alcohol is harder than a heroin addiction. I knew intellectually at that moment that it would be hard work but the reward of sobriety would be worth it. I perservered and did the meetings and staying away from public drinking outlets for the first few years. After a few years I could actually walk into a tavern and sip soft drinks only.

I still feel rage at certain things now - I just dont mix rage with alcohol. I compartmentalize the 2 to separate days never allowing rage to be fuelled by alcohol. I will have the occasional drink but under a very controlled environment. Never more than 2 drinks. And never closer than 4-6 weeks apart. Seems to work, BTW I have become a coffee addict, and its quite natural for me to go for a coffee or water whenever the "trigger" to drink comes up. Seems like I replaced 1 addiction with another.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

By doing away with the feel no shame/blame model we dont truly acknowledge that somewhere along the line we harmed others with our behaviours. Its like the "confession of sin" and "remorse" and "go an sin no more" of the catholic religion.

By not shaming or feeling shame we hold our heads high as if we've done no wrong to others or society.

So... correct me if I'm wrong... and please expand/elaborate/clarify as you see fit... but you're basically saying that it isn't about the best interests of the person addicted, or what they are doing to themselves, but just about punishing them for whatever real or imagined slights they've inflicted on others? So we're just piling on?

Shame comes from within, or it means nothing. Nor is shame alone any solution; I have no doubt many addicts know they've hurt others, and do feel much shame, but don't know how to do better. Shame can make matters worse in many situations, especially if the drug use was to self-medicate for another reason, such as PTSD.

On the other hand, the solutions have to come from the addicted person. Others can help, but no one can do it for them. So it is vital to their recovery to understand it's up to them, and figure out how to do better.

Moral and or ethical ambiguity with no clear line of censure allows the affected individual on a life long quest down many roads to seek relief from suffering or healing.

Replace "ambiguity" with "shaming"... and "no clear line of censure" with "no clear course of treatment"... and I would agree 100%. But for the reasons I stated above, I do not agree that moral shaming fixes anything. Even if it provides a motivation or impetus, further action/treatment is necessary to change trajectory... to send them down a different -- better! -- path.

Theres a lot of money to be made in assisting such an individual to "find themselves" and "snap out of it" and reintegrate back into some semblance of (useful) member of society.

Amen! That deserves repeating:

Theres a lot of money to be made in assisting such an individual to "find themselves" and "snap out of it" and reintegrate back into some semblance of (useful) member of society.

What few people even consider is why a great proportion of the public taxation allocation should be going to a "priestly Medical classs" who have shown how entrenched they are in feeding at the trough of public money.
Do we ask them why they often have so little results to show for so much money taken? What cost benefit analysis was done?

I'm hoping and praying that the current and ongoing research of cannabis makes this absolutely crystal clear to the public... I consider it the epitome of Big Pharma's crimes against humanity. Big Pharma knows the medicinal value of cannabis... they also know they cannot patent and profit from cannabis because it's a natural substance. But instead of demanding it be taken off Schedule I, and demanding that it be decriminalized, and doing everything they can to make it as widely available and accessible as possible, they are doing their best to maximize their profits at the expense of our health. And even our lives. Big Pharma has absolutely no obligation to put our health first. They are under no obligation to act in our best interest. Even if they know medicine "A" is better for us in every possible way, they don't have to tell us (and don't), and they can and will push medicine "B" on us simply because it's better for their bank accounts.

And the law not only allows them to do so, it enables and empowers them.

Why dont we "socialize" car mechanics; cars are a vital part of our society.

We pretty much do. On a public level, we have buses and trains and lightrails. We don't "socialize" personal vehicles, but we do "socialize" public transportation. On a private level, for personal vehicles, we have insurance and warranties.

In terms of healthcare, we either need to make sure every last person has healthcare, or we need to take every last penny of tax dollars out of the healthcare industry... no more government grants for research, no more FDA, no more insurance for government employees... we have "socialized" medicine, but not everyone paying for it is benefitting from it. Likewise, if government is going to restrict my access to the healthcare I need, then they need to guarantee my access elsewhere.... Actually, I don't really believe that... Government has no right to restrict my access to the fruits of the earth, nor to deny my right to nurture, heal and sustain my life. Period.
edit on 23-1-2016 by Boadicea because: formatting... the bane of my ATS existence!

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:16 PM
a reply to: onequestion

Trust me I have been following US Healthcare for many years. We were in the states a couple of months ago. Aside from the laughs we had watching our cousins drive through a "Drive in chemist", hows that for fast drugs", we were amazed at the constant bombardment on TV with Pharmaceutical ads.

Of course its wrong for them to be micro managing healthcare. The whole idea of medicine at the moment is STuffed up.
You get a degree in University, due to grants and donations certain research areas are not encouraged whilst others are, especially patentable drugs. The revolving door model between doctors, the FDA and the pharma industry is a joke. The wolves dressed as respectable sheep guarding the coffers of health public spending.

Health industry is a misnomer, its a "treatment dependancy industry"

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:21 PM
a reply to: thebtheb

Thanks for your great words

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 07:59 PM
a reply to: Boadicea

Okay. So I'm not sure what your point is

Well I pointed our there 1. theres a causal agent 2. symptoms -

Let me put it better 1) cars make pollution. 2) we get lung cancer 3) symptoms, we sue because a link can be made. This is why they will never outlaw tobacco. In a tobacco free world people would have to start seriously looking at the poisons spewed out by cars. The big elephant in the room. If the uptake worldwide of new smokers coming into the scene is decreasing why are cancers rising.

You should really look at how the Sugar industry gets away with dumping so many grams in every can of food or soft drink. Countless studies later they still control the dialogue, calling for more studies to be done - as if the "science" is not settled; making any regulatory attempt controlling the addition of sugar ineffectual.

The point is that you fail to see how "disease" and vectors depends entirely on a "political stance" - the evidence is later collated to push a bias towards your agenda.

I would prefer that you go after the government, however, because they are the ones who make the laws/regulations allowing such to happen

Laws and regs dont allow things to happen - that a failure in your thinking. Laws penalize through fines and censure after the act is committed. If corporations were so squeaky clean why is it they always rely on the Govt to bail them out. Why not out of their profits or shareholders capital? Case in point the Bail outs of the too big to fail Banks, or National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Remember this is a political decision to label drug/alcohol ingestion addiction:

google defn:
Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, coc aine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work

work, life responsibility, paying taxes, being useful to society, sounds political in nature to me...

edit on 23-1-2016 by TheConstruKctionofLight because: didnt quote

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:01 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

I missed your reply to me. Very good post. Szasz was a genius, I very much appreciated his views regarding psychiatry, and the human condition in general. I would agree that -disorder- is a purely political term. Whose order is assumed here? What norm stands the test of time?

This thread was an attempt to baby-step people who are stuck deep in it, but you've gone quite a few further in your journey... kudos to you.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:13 PM
a reply to: pl3bscheese

I guess it matters how you define disease.

By the very same reasoning, then Type II Diabetes is not a disease either.

The OP, and it's referent, seem to imply that there are not physical aspects to addictions. But their are as there are in Type II Diabetes. Any 'habituation' changes both the brain and the body (not to mention the psyche).

Disease - Dis (or not at) Ease. Physical, Mental, Emotional - all interconnected in any dis-ease process and healing.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:17 PM

originally posted by: FyreByrd
a reply to: pl3bscheese

The OP, and it's referent, seem to imply that there are not physical aspects to addictions.

No that's not at all what I or the linked source has implied, in fact this is addressed numerous times.

But their are as there are in Type II Diabetes. Any 'habituation' changes both the brain and the body (not to mention the psyche).

Disease - Dis (or not at) Ease. Physical, Mental, Emotional - all interconnected in any dis-ease process and healing.

I addressed type 2 diabetes as well. It is first and foremost a result of a metabolic condition brought on by genetic susceptibilities interacting with lifestyle choices. Sound familiar? It should.

I think it's best to be classified as a metabolic dysregulation, but not a disease.

I have made my stance clear. A burden to the individual which can be alleviated by will power (lifestyle choices) is incapable of being a disease. It's just not what diseases are.
edit on 23-1-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:40 PM

originally posted by: pl3bscheese

Addicts have reason for feeling shame of their actions, and society has a cause for stigmatizing addicts. .....

.....The problem is not feeling shame for prior behavior. The problem is in not placing this shame appropriately on the behavior of the individual, a being who has the will to change. Shame is a social tool which when wielded correctly leads to transformation of the individual for his and societies benefit as a whole. That an individual has failed to place the shame in it's proper place, at the act, and not the being itself, is not justification for doing away with the shaming process entirely.

That's an awful lot of shame in the name of pleasure seeking. O.P. your whole approach to the matter of addiction seems to have such moralistic overtones. Whether the truth is that addiction to pleasure is an illness or a personal choice - your underlying stance is one of moralistic judgement.

I was very interested in reading an article by a therapist by the name of Josh Sauer - 'Why we really do drugs'.

Here is a brief excerpt from the article with a link to the full:

What did you get right on drugs? It’s not the standard first question to clients at a drug recovery clinic. In fact, it’s such a radical departure from the standard script that I usually get a blank stare. The recovery industry revolves around the idea of malfunction, but if nothing actually went wrong, that approach doesn’t work.

There is a new drug-using demographic –people aged anywhere from 12 to 60, who are rich, poor, old, young, happy, unhappy, male, female, successful, failures, from broken homes or from happy homes –who just like to feel good. With this as a starting point for drug use, it makes sense to look at what went right.

‘Revolutionary’is probably the best word to describe this approach, because it does entail overthrowing the old model. And it’s old. Most current recovery programs are based on ideas that emerged over a century ago. We no longer ride around in horse-drawn wagons or tap away on typewriters, so why use equally outdated approaches to recovery? It’s high time for an overhaul.

Debunking the old myths about why you take drugs is a good place to start. As everyone who has been through counselling or a rehab program knows, identifying ‘why’you did it is always the focus. As it is automatically assumed that something must have gone wrong, the answer is inevitably one of the following: you were trying to escape reality, or cope with pain; or you are diseased, self-destructive, have low self-esteem or other psychological problems.

‘Drug users are just escaping reality’, is usually stated in an accusatory tone, as if there is something wrong with this. But reality, as most people experience it, is generally so ordinary that, in my opinion, there is something wrong if you don’twant to escape it.When the police catch runaway prisoners they never say to them, ‘Oh, you’re just trying to escape prison’. It is expected that you’d flee if you got the chance. But if you take drugs or indulge in any other activity to ‘escape reality’everybody gets upset. I believe it is our duty to escape reality and seek an extraordinary life. How we do this should be the issue, not why.

The idea that drug users are trying to cope with deep-seated pain –usually the ‘unhappy childhood’variety –is another flawed assumption. If that were really the cause of addiction, I think there would be many more addicts. Growing up can be an unpleasant process, for anyone: you’re short, powerless, and your true nature is being systematically suppressed so that you can fit into the accepted limited version of reality.But not everyone takes drugs as a result.

Over the years I’ve treated people for every condition imaginable. Some who adored every moment of their childhoods became heroin addicts. Others who had terrible, abusive childhood experiences never even tried a drug.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:47 PM
a reply to: Golden Rule

Addiction is not using. Addiction is abusing to the detriment of yourself and loved ones. People who do this escape reality not to learn or because it's too dull, they escape it because they choose to feel good in the moment instead of facing the reality of the mess they've created which continues to pile up.

edit on 23-1-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 09:49 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

The point is that you fail to see how "disease" and vectors depends entirely on a "political stance" - the evidence is later collated to push a bias towards your agenda.

Laws and regs dont allow things to happen - that a failure in your thinking. Laws penalize through fines and censure after the act is committed.

Actually, I understand that anything and everything will be politicized by those with agendas to benefit the elite few at the expense of the many, including (but not limited to) our health and lives. I also understand that laws and regulations are what enables the few to benefit at the expense of the many. It is the drug laws and regulations that criminalizes medicines. It is the patent laws that make it possible for Big Pharma to put their profits before our health. It is the incorporation laws and the Vaccine Injury Act that protects Big Pharma (and its masters) from civil and criminal liability for the harm their products cause. It's the congressionally approved bail-outs that keep these parasites in business. I completely understand that all of this violates our inalienable natural rights and organic law. And most of all I understand that they often pit us against each other, and encourage us to blame each other and look down on each other, keeping us fighting and hating each other, and otherwise dividing us to conquer us.

The only way to beat them is to keep our focus on the best interests of the people... in this case, the addicted... and demand the appropriate care/treatment for their condition(s), including recovery from the addiction as well as treatment for related physical ailments, for their individual benefit as well as for the benefit of society as a whole. As you pointed out, addicts take their toll on those around them as well, and we all benefit from responsible and productive members of society.

I completely agree that "disease" should not be used to make the addict feel like a helpless and hopeless victim, with no power to change his ways. That's neither realistic nor practical, and therefore not effective. Rather, the addict can understand that his body reacts with dis-ease to this substance and then the addict has to take the necessary actions to change his life, and therefore must be empowered and educated and encouraged with the necessary tools to do so.

Shaming is not one of those tools.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 10:03 PM

: a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong

To not see this tool as an effective first step in the process of recovery is to be utterly blind and foolish.

posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 10:24 PM
a reply to: pl3bscheese

Very interesting way to look at it. So you believe free will exists and the addicted can use it -- with some external support -- to free themselves of their curse?

Is that science too, or just conviction?

posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 12:16 AM
a reply to: Astyanax

Experiential learning.

Free will exists in the sense that we're not omniscient beings. Perhaps if we were, free will would be realized an illusion.
edit on 24-1-2016 by pl3bscheese because: (no reason given)

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