Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

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Dinsdale
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:59 am

robdog wrote:Thanks for posting that rowboat, i only watched the short video but it was very informative. It has certainly got me to question my opinion on there being a genetic aspect to addiction. I still think there may be for some people but environment seems to be key in whether those traits come into fruition or not.
Yes it's the old nature v. nurture debate.
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m0rl0ck
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by m0rl0ck » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:41 am

Dr. Tabakoff said, “We know that high levels of alcohol consumption can increase the risk of becoming alcohol dependent in those who have a genetic makeup that predisposes to dependence. This is a case of interaction between genes and environment.

....

They found that genetic factors account for 40 to 60 percent of the variance between people in risk of alcoholism. The genes involved in susceptibility to alcoholism include both alcohol-specific genes and those that affect neuronal pathways to do with reward, behavioral control and resilience to stress.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/alcohol-con ... cs/0004943

Actually i think the above article underestimates the predisposition factor. Many of the alcoholics i know got drunk the first time they drank alcohol and consciously decided after that first time that they were going to do this again the first chance they got. Some described it as almost a revelation.

If alcohol were discovered today it would immediately be classed as a controlled substance and its unfortunate the degree to which cultural approval of it helps create new addicts every day.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Dinsdale
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:45 am

m0rl0ck wrote:If alcohol were discovered today it would immediately be classed as a controlled substance and its unfortunate the degree to which cultural approval of it helps create new addicts every day.
It seems ironic to me that people will wail on about "drug addicts" and exclude alcohol, which is a much bigger problem. There's a real binge-drinking culture in the UK now.
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Cittasanto
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:55 pm

Hi Mkoll,
I had a drinking problem, and am firm in the conviction Alcoholism is not a disease by any definition I have seen used/described.
I have writen on the 12 steps... in my blog here, but I shall very briefly give answers.
[quote]Gonna throw some questions out there. Any answers or comments welcome.

What's your definition of alcoholism? Are their different types of alcoholism?
an addiction, i.e. a mental pathway that has become OCD/silabattaparamatha

Is alcoholism a disease? If so, how is it diagnosed? How is it treated?
no.

Is alcoholism not a disease, but a personal weakness? What is a personal weakness?
It is a habit that has become entrenched due to repetition, "what one fills the senses with..."

Is alcoholism a disease for some people and a personal weakness in other people? Is it a combination of disease and weakness in some people?
I don't know, some people are more prone to addiction of one sort or another than others... but in general I wouldn't call it a mental disease.

Must there be personal weakness for there to be alcoholism or can alcoholism exist without personal weakness? Do you think alcoholism causes personal weakness?
I wouldn't call it a personal weakness, but can cause weakness. it seams to be more of a coping mechanism or poor choice.

What do you think about physicians and hospitals being paid by patients and insurance companies for alcoholism?
I think it is money down the drain for certain ideologies, but then no recovery program is as effective as effective as not needing recovery/treatment.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by m0rl0ck » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:38 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Mkoll,
I had a drinking problem, and am firm in the conviction Alcoholism is not a disease by any definition I have seen used/described.
I have writen on the 12 steps... in my blog here, but I shall very briefly give answers.
Gonna throw some questions out there. Any answers or comments welcome.

What's your definition of alcoholism? Are their different types of alcoholism?
an addiction, i.e. a mental pathway that has become OCD/silabattaparamatha

Is alcoholism a disease? If so, how is it diagnosed? How is it treated?
no.

Is alcoholism not a disease, but a personal weakness? What is a personal weakness?
It is a habit that has become entrenched due to repetition, "what one fills the senses with..."

Is alcoholism a disease for some people and a personal weakness in other people? Is it a combination of disease and weakness in some people?
I don't know, some people are more prone to addiction of one sort or another than others... but in general I wouldn't call it a mental disease.

Must there be personal weakness for there to be alcoholism or can alcoholism exist without personal weakness? Do you think alcoholism causes personal weakness?
I wouldn't call it a personal weakness, but can cause weakness. it seams to be more of a coping mechanism or poor choice.

What do you think about physicians and hospitals being paid by patients and insurance companies for alcoholism?
I think it is money down the drain for certain ideologies, but then no recovery program is as effective as effective as not needing recovery/treatment.
If you can quit drinking because you merely decide to do so, you are by definition not an alcoholic. Alcoholism is when the alcohol makes the choices for you.
Congratulations on stopping, its a destructive habit even if you arent an alcoholic.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Cittasanto
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:54 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Hi Mkoll,
I had a drinking problem, and am firm in the conviction Alcoholism is not a disease by any definition I have seen used/described.
I have writen on the 12 steps... in my blog here, but I shall very briefly give answers.
Gonna throw some questions out there. Any answers or comments welcome.

What's your definition of alcoholism? Are their different types of alcoholism?
an addiction, i.e. a mental pathway that has become OCD/silabattaparamatha

Is alcoholism a disease? If so, how is it diagnosed? How is it treated?
no.

Is alcoholism not a disease, but a personal weakness? What is a personal weakness?
It is a habit that has become entrenched due to repetition, "what one fills the senses with..."

Is alcoholism a disease for some people and a personal weakness in other people? Is it a combination of disease and weakness in some people?
I don't know, some people are more prone to addiction of one sort or another than others... but in general I wouldn't call it a mental disease.

Must there be personal weakness for there to be alcoholism or can alcoholism exist without personal weakness? Do you think alcoholism causes personal weakness?
I wouldn't call it a personal weakness, but can cause weakness. it seams to be more of a coping mechanism or poor choice.

What do you think about physicians and hospitals being paid by patients and insurance companies for alcoholism?
I think it is money down the drain for certain ideologies, but then no recovery program is as effective as effective as not needing recovery/treatment.
If you can quit drinking because you merely decide to do so, you are by definition not an alcoholic. Alcoholism is when the alcohol makes the choices for you.
Congratulations on stopping, its a destructive habit even if you arent an alcoholic.
Hi
Where did I say anything you claim???
edit[or show as false with reason]
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Mkoll
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:35 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:If you can quit drinking because you merely decide to do so, you are by definition not an alcoholic.
This is where I get confused because I don't see how that makes sense.

How else did you quit drinking alcohol other than via a decision made by your own will? Isn't the reason you aren't drinking alcohol on this very day a decision made by you?

How is the choice to not drink alcohol anything but a decision, regardless if one is an alcoholic or not?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Mr Man
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mr Man » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:11 am

Mkoll wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:If you can quit drinking because you merely decide to do so, you are by definition not an alcoholic.
This is where I get confused because I don't see how that makes sense.

How else did you quit drinking alcohol other than via a decision made by your own will? Isn't the reason you aren't drinking alcohol on this very day a decision made by you?

How is the choice to not drink alcohol anything but a decision, regardless if one is an alcoholic or not?
An intervention? External help?

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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:45 am

Mkoll wrote:How is the choice to not drink alcohol anything but a decision, regardless if one is an alcoholic or not?
That's true, but with a strong addiction like alcoholism the decision will be very difficult to stick to, particularly without support.
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Mkoll
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mkoll » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:49 am

Mr Man wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:If you can quit drinking because you merely decide to do so, you are by definition not an alcoholic.
This is where I get confused because I don't see how that makes sense.

How else did you quit drinking alcohol other than via a decision made by your own will? Isn't the reason you aren't drinking alcohol on this very day a decision made by you?

How is the choice to not drink alcohol anything but a decision, regardless if one is an alcoholic or not?
An intervention? External help?
An intervention or external help can help an addict make the right decision but in the end, the addict has the final say. Some people will get an intervention and successfully stay clean, others will get an intervention and relapse. The difference here lies in the decisions, the choices that they make.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Mkoll
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mkoll » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:59 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Mkoll wrote:How is the choice to not drink alcohol anything but a decision, regardless if one is an alcoholic or not?
That's true, but with a strong addiction like alcoholism the decision will be very difficult to stick to, particularly without support.
Very difficult, but not impossible.

Let me be clear that I'm talking not talking about the physical side of withdrawal, the effects of which can be fatal in the case of alcohol. The support of doctors and modern medicine is absolutely advisable in some cases. I'm only talking about the mental side.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Dinsdale
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:16 am

Mkoll wrote: I'm only talking about the mental side.
That's probably the most difficult to address.
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Mr Man
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mr Man » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:24 am

Mkoll wrote:
Mr Man wrote: An intervention? External help?
An intervention or external help can help an addict make the right decision but in the end, the addict has the final say. Some people will get an intervention and successfully stay clean, others will get an intervention and relapse. The difference here lies in the decisions, the choices that they make.
Hi Mkoll, I don't want to take the conversation completely away from m0rl0ck but the notion that there is an individual who has the ability to have the final say (in a vacuum, as such) is incorrect. Our decisions are conditioned by circumstance.

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Mkoll
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by Mkoll » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:04 am

Mr Man wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Mr Man wrote: An intervention? External help?
An intervention or external help can help an addict make the right decision but in the end, the addict has the final say. Some people will get an intervention and successfully stay clean, others will get an intervention and relapse. The difference here lies in the decisions, the choices that they make.
Hi Mkoll, I don't want to take the conversation completely away from m0rl0ck but the notion that there is an individual who has the ability to have the final say (in a vacuum, as such) is incorrect. Our decisions are conditioned by circumstance.
Of course decisions don't take place in a vacuum and of course they're conditioned by circumstance. That doesn't mean there are no decisions made by individual people. It sounds like you're denying individual autonomy completely.

It reminds me of what this brahmin was saying.
AN 6.38 wrote:Then a certain brahman approached the Blessed One; having approached the Blessed One, he exchanged friendly greetings. After pleasant conversation had passed between them, he sat to one side. Having sat to one side, the brahman spoke to the Blessed One thus:

“Venerable Gotama, I am one of such a doctrine, of such a view: ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer.’”[1]

“I have not, brahman, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view. How, indeed, could one — moving forward by himself, moving back by himself [2] — say: ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’? What do you think, brahmin, is there an element or principle of initiating or beginning an action?”[3]

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“When there is an element of initiating, are initiating beings [4] clearly discerned?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, brahmin, when there is the element of initiating, initiating beings are clearly discerned; of such beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. [5]

“What do you think, brahmin, is there an element of exertion [6] ... is there an element of effort [7] ... is there an element of steadfastness [8] ... is there an element of persistence [9] ... is there an element of endeavoring?” [10]

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“When there is an element of endeavoring, are endeavoring beings clearly discerned?”

“Just so, Venerable Sir.”

“So, brahmin, when there is the element of endeavoring, endeavoring beings are clearly discerned; of such beings, this is the self-doer, this, the other-doer. I have not, brahmin, seen or heard such a doctrine, such a view as yours. How, indeed, could one — moving forward by himself, moving back by himself — say ‘There is no self-doer, there is no other-doer’?”

“Superb, Venerable Gotama! Superb, Venerable Gotama! Venerable Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been turned upside down, revealing what had been concealed, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the dark: ‘Those who have eyes see forms!’ Just so, the Venerable Gotama has illuminated the Dhamma in various ways. I go to Venerable Gotama as refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the assembly of monks. From this day, for as long as I am endowed with breath, let Venerable Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge.”
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Disease Theory of Alcoholism?

Post by m0rl0ck » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:18 am

Mkoll wrote: How else did you quit drinking alcohol other than via a decision made by your own will? Isn't the reason you aren't drinking alcohol on this very day a decision made by you?
Many have found AA and the steps to be the solution to living a sober life, actually i personally dont know any other way it can be done. Many can stop for a short time, but the only people i know with good long term sobriety used the 12 steps and AA.

Of course the steps dont work without willingness on the part of the addict and the addicts own recognition that there is a problem.
Often by the time someone realizes they are in trouble and have the willingness to stop, physical addiction is part of the problem, but speaking as someone who tried to stop numerous times and lasted only a few days or a couple of weeks at most, there is more to it than just physical addiction.

EDIT: tho willingness on the part of the addict has to be there, in AA there is a maxim that there are three ways to quit. AA and the steps, jail, or the graveyard :)
Many take options 2 or 3 just because the power to make good decisions has been taken away from them by their disease.
Last edited by m0rl0ck on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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