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Alcoholism a disease??

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posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:11 AM
To the OP,

I would say that certainly, after a certain point of mass drinking, every day for years, one can develop a dependence on alcoholism. There also has been genetic traits viewed recently, which indicate that if a parent is an alcoholic or a smoker, their child is more likely to be one (note the phrase 'more likely' and not 'definitely'). Having a beer or a glass of wine once in a while certainly isn't enough for it to progress to alcoholism any time soon. Hell, I'm in college and have been known to drink several beers more than one night a week, and I would consider myself FAR from an alcoholic. I can still have a good time and enjoy myself with out alcohol, thus, not an alcoholic. At least, this is my view on this matter.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:17 AM
I don't think it's a disease, more like a bad habit. It's just what ur used to doing.
In my own case I have a drink most evenings round about 10pm I have a drink while watchin tv. It's just the habitual routine I've developed. I think some people go further and simple have a habit of drinking all the time. Which in turn has a severe effect on their body. I don't class myself as an alcoholic or dependent on the stuff. If there was no drink available I'd have a soft drink or a cup of coffee instead.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:03 AM
reply to post by Ian McLean

I think personally that by slapping the disease label on alcoholism that some (not all) people will use this as an excuse to get around the terrible behavior that they exhibit while intoxicated. I don't know, I guess since I don't have to desire to drink it is hard for me understand...

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:21 AM
reply to post by Greenize

I dont think its an excuse.I've seen people do things that they would never never never do while sober after drinking.I dont think i have ever blamed the person,only the alcohol.It can be one of the most evil evil drugs on the face of this planet,yet you can buy it in practically every store.Just shows how stupid drug laws are when things like marijuana,coc aine or '___' are illegal yet alcohol which can be far worse isn't.

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Booze is a drug. It affects different people in different ways just like every other drug out there, including food.

A drug is anything that is a crutch, to get thru pain whether it be physical, emotional, or mental.

My mother has maybe 6 drinks a year for celebratory reasons. I have 6 drinks a day at minimum.

She eats in excess, developed severe diabetes, shoots up insulin several times a day, still won't eat right and get exercise. But she is okay with it because the food helps her with her mental and emotional issues and lets her get on with living her life.

I drink in excess, although definitly a functional alky, but I am okay with it as if I did not drink I would be taking a pharmacy full of drugs to keep me functional in day to day life. No thanks, a 6 pack after work does me just fine to wash away all the BS I encounter during the day.

What is going to hurt my liver in the long run quicker? Self medicating via booze or paying tons of money (no ins) to drug companies that sure have alot of lawsuits against them?

Booze has been around forever, but manufactured chemicals are still new. Just call me old skool

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 07:12 PM
Your honesty is refreshing and you have a point many people walk around in a zombified state due to prescribed medications.... Believe me, I wasn't trying to be judgemental in any way, as I stated, I am a smoker, I cuss and at times I like to eat too I am just trying to gain some understanding on a subject that has touched my life....Thank you for sharing your view. Thank you to all of you!!

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by Greenize

I'm surprised about the honesty here to, but then again, it's ATS... only the greatest site on the net!

To the guy two posts above me
I would rather see someone drinking functionaly then ever on pills, my family is addicted to pills, i'll never take them, I never understood the word zombie until I saw them change, almost instantly.

It was scary, I could walk up infront of my (snip for scaredness) and say something right to his/her face and they wouldn't notice me for a bit, and eventually would jump and say 'jesus christ don't startle me like that!' After about five minutes, that's that is a delayed reaction!

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:39 AM
im a recovering alchoholic. i believe it is a disease of the mind. but alchoholism is the same as addiction i started out smoking weed all the time then when i got on probation i started drinking because of piss tests. i just got out of rehab and they explained to me this is called cross adiction you take one mind altering substance and replace it with others. back when i was still drinking it was impossible to stop and your mind plays tricks on you you never realize youre an alchoholic hence why in AA they say we deal with alchohol, cunning, baffling, and powerful. all i can do is relate my experience with addiction. even if i wanted to quit drinking i would find an excuse or a reason to drink or pop pills or whatever i was doing that night.alchoholism isnt a disease because a disease can be cured ill be an alchoholic for the rest of my life you have to learn to deal with it it never goes away.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 03:14 AM
I think we usually think of disease as having a disorder with a body part or system, like cardiac disease. Mental illness is also a disease and I think that is where alcoholism, drug dependence or simply neural disorders that are psyche in nature manifest and cause us to have addictive behavior. That doesn't mean that it isn't a disease just because it isn't organic, it is a functional disease. I do believe the propensity for alcoholism is genetic just as the propensity for high cholesterol is genetic. Maybe they just haven't found out which amino acid or protein or whatever is passed down.

An alcoholic can not just take one drink, it triggers something in the brain that gives a sensation of well being and that leads to another and another drink.

And if you can buy a 30 pack and drink on it for several weeks, then you don't have the compulsion to drink like an alcoholic drinks. You are not addicted to alcohol, but maybe you are addicted to cigarettes. So, you are just as mentally ill as anyone else. !!! No, I am just teasing, I promise!!! Just a joke.

What difference does it matter what AA calls God, in the AA meetings I go to we call "it" your own personal higher power, what is unique to you, what helps you. AA is for support and fellowship, so you can be with others that can relate to your problem and help with structured ways to work your problems out with a little help from your friends.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 03:30 AM

Originally posted by Greenize
...and I can take it or leave it. I choose not to drink everyday...

Alcoholics don't have the choice to take it or leave it, that's why it's a disease.

People can choose to drink excessively, but I don't think anyone chooses to be an alcoholic.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:40 AM

Originally posted by Doomsday 2029
I'm an alcoholic...

#3. Where is the seperation between church and state in this mess? I've been court ordered to a program that tells me God is the only way? And not only that but in the twelve steps they refer to God as a "HE".

In the end it is a choice and a spiritual sickness... And I make bad choices, and my spirit is sick...

(But they will tell you the Brain science behind it that classifies it as a disease.)

Actually I've never once heard anybody mention "Church"
It's a spiritual program Not a religious one.

You can choose a door knob to be your "higher power" if that helps you stop drinking when you want to. Of course it will only work if you work it.

To answer the OPs question.

If I remember correctly only half the active alcoholics were found to have a genetic disposition to become alcoholics. The other half were not. Simply because you may have parents who are alcoholics doesn't mean you will be to. It does though mean that you are at higher risk.

It's an obsession of the mind, disease of the body and a spiritual melody.
When an alcoholic drinks they do not have that "off switch" that says "I'm done" after one or two drinks like a "Normy" What they have is a broken switch that is stuck in the "ON" position.

When a normal non alcoholic person drinks too much their bodies starts to shut down. They get dizzy and tired and want to sleep. The body has a built in defense mechanism that will slowly shut down the higher functions in order to protect itself. They will pass out. The body will do this because it knows that the alcohol is destructive to the liver and kidneys and it is destroying brain cells. Your body is a lot smarter than we are sometimes.

With an "Alcoholic" however that natural built in mechanism for shutting down the body doesn't function properly and they will continue to consume alcohol way past the body's natural "Shut down" this is what they call a "Black out" they are still up and about but the higher functions have shut down and they will not remember what they did the night before.

When they drink continually over long periods of time they are killing themselves and their bodies are sending them the signals continually that it does not want nor need the alcohol but the body craves it. There is the "Disease" part. The obsession part is the mind telling the body it's OK to drink "More" and why do they drink to excess?

They are spiritually corrupted.

Alcoholics never start out wanting to be Alcoholics. For most they start out very innocently enough for some it's a simple "Party" they go to, or some would sneak some booze from their parents, for others it's a choice. Some people are just heavy drinker who will never develop a problem.

Some people develop problems within a very short amount of time. While for others it takes years to develop a drinking problem, but once it sets in there is no way an "Alcoholic" can ever drink again like a normal person." One or Two" Beers.

Oh they will try and some of them will die trying but they will never drink again like a normal person. There is nothing outside of a program that is designed by and ran by Alcoholics for other Alcoholics. If you think you or maybe somebody you love might have a drinking problem then I would suggest attending a meeting.

Keep in mind that the God of your own understanding that you walk into a meeting with is the same God you will walk out with. I have never seen anybody try to force anybody to do anything in an AA meeting.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 11:08 PM
Thank you to the last several posters!! Very imformative information and you helped me to better understand. I appreciate your sharing your experiences. Being a smoker I do understand the addictive nature of things...I just never really got the concept of the use of the word disease, now I get again THANK YOU!

posted on May, 26 2009 @ 09:22 AM
Here is my humble thoughts on the process. There is a genetic predisposition to drink to excess within a family genepool. However, there is also the trained (environmental) behavior that is taught within that family that pushes you one way or the other. BUT you also have to take into account a person's actual personality traits and emotional stability.

My family on my father and mother's side are all a bunch of mostly functioning alcoholics. If you went to a family reunion you would be hard pressed to find a sober person - there are only a handful in the hundreds that would show up. my families predisposition is very strong and also there is cultural identity within my family that is strongly pro-alcoholism/abuse.

I have what is considered a headstrong personality as does most of my family. However, I realized at a very early age that alcoholism hurts me and my loved ones after I saw my father sleeping in 7-dust and hoping it wouldn't kill him. It didn't. But as a 4-5 year old it is a hard concept to learn that sometimes you just have to let the alcoholic kill themself. You have no real control over their control.

So, I don't drink but maybe once a year - teetotaler otherwise. That one night a year I get fullout tornup. I wake up the next morning and remember yea... THAT's why I don't drink as I am puking my guts out.
I also seem to not have the genetic predisposition - only the cultural learning. However, one of my brothers is a raging alcoholic and it is all factors combined to create what he is. He has survived a brain anuerysm mostly intact. Most die from that. However, he is the only person I know of who was prescribed a beer a day in ICU to keep him from DTs.

My point, it is a genetic predisposition but it is also other factors such as personality traits, environment and emotional grasp which also factor into HOW you respond to that alcohol predisposition.

posted on May, 26 2009 @ 09:42 AM
for that matter, here are some articles on this:

Best general explanation:

Basically it states there is a predisposition to alcoholism. I read somewhere - cannot find the exact page that alcoholism can also be where you take a drug substance (whether alcohol or other abusive substance) long enough it will alter how your body reacts with and without the drug of choice which could create a lifetime "craving" for it. However, the Gannett link states it is about low dopamine levels causing the "craving".

[edit on 26-5-2009 by mhinsey]

posted on May, 26 2009 @ 10:08 AM

[edit on 26-5-2009 by sliceNodice]

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