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BANGKOK 22 April 2019 20:15

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pedro01

Alcoholism - why believing it is a disease could be damaging

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There are genetic differences between occasional users and addicts. One person is exposed and does not become addicted, another does. I also don't think it's a disease, but until we have gene therapy to fix it the best we can do is treat it as a disease, which means dis ease.....

At this point in time, no genetic link has been proven.

If you have links to studies that do claim to prove it, I would love to have a read.

As a matter of fact.

This is personally interesting to me as in general I have a rather addictive tendencies for lots of things (posting herewhistling.gif ), but early in my life I had a strong feeling that I had ZERO risk to be an alcoholic.

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9935/jews-drink-less-but-get-drunk-more-easily-new-studies-show/

NEW YORK -- Jews don't drink, the old myth goes.

And now there's scientific evidence to prove it.

Two new studies are bolstering the view that Jews don't drink as much as other Caucasians -- and researchers attribute the difference largely to a genetic mutation that is found in a much higher proportion among Jews than among other whites.

Those surveyed possessed a particular genetic mutation that regulates an enzyme responsible for determining how the body breaks down alcohol.

A similar mutation is also found at relatively high rates among Asians.

The mutation makes people "more sensitive to alcohol -- in other words, they get drunk very quickly," said Yehuda Neumark, an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/genetics/a/blcah030307.htm

Scientists are not exactly sure why, but a gene variation first known as alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2*2), but later called alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B), tends to discourage heavier drinking in the persons who have the gene.

Because an estimated 20% of the Jewish population has the ADH1B gene, it is believed to be a factor in the low rates of alcoholism reported in this ethnic group. The gene produces a more active from of the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in alcohol metabolism.

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Sorry about the spelling and the bsd writing in parts. I am on holiday and replying on my small phone with big fingers...and cannot find a way to edit on thia contraption. GB.

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At this point in time, no genetic link has been proven.

If you have links to studies that do claim to prove it, I would love to have a read.

As a matter of fact.

This is personally interesting to me as in general I have a rather addictive tendencies for lots of things (posting herewhistling.gif ), but early in my life I had a strong feeling that I had ZERO risk to be an alcoholic.

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/9935/jews-drink-less-but-get-drunk-more-easily-new-studies-show/

NEW YORK -- Jews don't drink, the old myth goes.

And now there's scientific evidence to prove it.

Two new studies are bolstering the view that Jews don't drink as much as other Caucasians -- and researchers attribute the difference largely to a genetic mutation that is found in a much higher proportion among Jews than among other whites.

Those surveyed possessed a particular genetic mutation that regulates an enzyme responsible for determining how the body breaks down alcohol.

A similar mutation is also found at relatively high rates among Asians.

The mutation makes people "more sensitive to alcohol -- in other words, they get drunk very quickly," said Yehuda Neumark, an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/genetics/a/blcah030307.htm

Scientists are not exactly sure why, but a gene variation first known as alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2*2), but later called alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B), tends to discourage heavier drinking in the persons who have the gene.

Because an estimated 20% of the Jewish population has the ADH1B gene, it is believed to be a factor in the low rates of alcoholism reported in this ethnic group. The gene produces a more active from of the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in alcohol metabolism.

Do you have this yourself? Is it a strong reaction you get?

This is called "Asian Flush Syndrome" too - it's similar to an allergy. It is the same reaction somebody taking Antabuse/Disulfiram will get and it's not pleasant at all. If you ever go the Disulfiram route (which is effective as part of a program) - you at some point will end up trying a beer whilst on it. In fact, it's recommended that you do. Obviously you have to take it very slowly as in some people the reaction is severe.

It turned me red as a beetroot and gave me slight breathing difficulties. I have some Thai and Japanese friends that have this and they do actually drink and after experiencing Disulfiram, I wonder how they do it.

Still - I don't think you've proved that alcoholism is a genetic disease. It's quite a leap to go from an allergy to alcohol because you cannot process it, to saying there must also be a disease that gives you an all consuming desire to ingest alcohol.

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Thank you for your i teresting post. As a man who spent 30 years trying to stop drinking and finally suceeded 15 years ago,I would like to make a contrabution.

To the best of knowledge no medical cure has yet been found for Alcoholism, surgery or tablets. The reason they say it can only be self diagnosed is because the Alcoholis cannot lie to himself...he never tells the truth about his drinking to those who could diagnose him,if he did it would be easy to see he has a problem.

I tell every Alcoholic that comes to me for help that he is indeed fully responsible for his past and the damage he had done (it wasn't the neighbour thst caused it all)..although he was a very sick man at the time and now it is ti.e to get well....he's not a "bad" man trying to get good. I myself have no power over Alcohol...if I delibrately ever take another drink I cannot guarentee I will have the ability to stop...as I have no Power over it I looked for that power outside of myself..I found it and I call it God. My sick mind could not cure my sick mind. Alcoholism is a 3 fold illness...mental, physical and spiritual. Indeed the sufferer is actually physically differnt in body from the non Alcoholic...(see the "Chalk Talk" by Fr. Martin).

Finally never claimed to be the only answer to Alcoholism...see it's book..."Alcoholics Annonymouss".

God blesd all who have this afflication...I will always be an Alcoholic...But I havn't suffered from it for tha past 15 years.

Glad to hear you got better.

Your beliefs that alcoholism is a disease comes from meetings where people that helped you told you it was a disease, right?

This is a bit like being a Catholic because your parents were Catholic. So in turn, you found help in a group and that group taught you a number of things that you now hold dearly as truths.

It's like the 3 blind men feeling an elephant. One thinks he's feeling a snake(the trunk), the other a wall, the other a rope (the tail) - all believe what they perceived as an absolute truth.

Your beliefs are dogmatic. They are not backed by scientific research. But you put faith in people - believed everything they told you, followed the 12 steps and stopped drinking. So for you, it's all upside.

In my opinion, you have long been cured of your addiction. Not that you should now attempt social drinking - but there is no evidence that what you believe to be fact is anything other than a dogma.

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self responsibility vs whistling.gifcoffee1.gif surrendering yourself to a higher being.....

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As a long-term recovering alcoholic, I can tell you from the very start I drank for the effect. I liked the woozy switch off for my mind, and it seemed the panacea to all problems, just get drunk and the problems go away. Of course,I had to hit that rock-bottom, when the problems caused by my uncontrollable drinking caused living problems. Now, I would suggest, that 'normal' people don't drink this way. Additionally, 'normies' have something that tells them instinctively that they have absorbed too much alcohol and so stop, as they are poisoning their body. I believe the alcoholic doesn't have this warning system and just keeps drinking on the basis that if 1 or 2 drinks have a good effect - keep going, it must get better. Now, if this isn't an illness, I don't know what is.

The very basis of AA is step 1, powerless over alcohol, life becomes unmanageable. This reinforces the disease concept.If the OP can control drinking, all well and good. Just don't denigrate people like me who have the life answer in AA.

One of the biggest problems for the drinker seeking help is breaking through the denial element of what their drinking is doing, the 'reality' truth. So, what is the OP doing, reinforcing the rationalizations that avoid making the denial breakthrough? OK, go your own way, but don't push this kind of stuff that creates more harm than good.

He is not preaching to you, one of the 5% AA successes. He is trying to give the 95% of AA failures a reason to carry on and try and control their lives not encourage them to give up because they have an incurable disease and AA, the only possible solution, failed and therefore they are doomed by their disease!!!

AA is a religion of specific life self disciplines to help people replace alcohol. It is not for everyone because we are all different. Like all religions, it sells itself as the only solution a cluster of our self-perceived weaknesses.

It must be an psychological addiction, a symptom of an addictive personality similar to religion, addiction to sex, gambling, smoking and many of the other substance addictions, not a separate disease. If it was a disease, then gambling, golf, membership of a lodge, special interest club, smoking, religion, marijuana and heroin etc are all separate diseases as well. But they are not. No more than alcohol is. Alcohol is only a disease because it helps some people to control it to think it is one. But this self deception does not work for most.

The people who go from one religion to another must have a disease. They need a code of hierarchically imposed self discipline but can never decide which one to stick with. Or the unlucky ones find one that turns them into a mysoginist, a suicide bomber or an idiot who gives all his money to an invisible friend. Is that a disease? Is religion a disease? Many people with addictive personalities experience in their lives, together or serially, several or all of these "diseases", of which alcohol is only one.

It is caused by behaviour, and a desire to escape from unwelcome reality. The actions that AA bring about are not a drug to cure your disease. They are life changes you need to cure one of a number of similar addictions caused by actions. Ergo, AA is a specific religion. It gives some people a usefully addictive belief system to help control another less desirable behaviour.

AA is a religion of life disciplines to help you control your alcohol addiction but many people do not like religion. They prefer other psychological; addictions. That is why it fails for so many and that was his point, (not his pint.) . People who like alcohol too much seem not to like religion so religion, (AA) fails them.

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We hear lots of talk of alcoholism being a disease as opposed to s self-inflicted problem.

Yet we never hear that people addicted to drugs, cigarettes, sex, coffee have a disease. We know full well that people are responsible for those addictions through poor life choices.

The pioneer of "Alcoholism is a disease" was Benjamin Rush, who in the 1800's, without any scientific backing proclaimed that

  • Those who drank too much were diseased
  • That this should be used as a reason to prohibit alcohol
  • That dishonest and political dissention were also diseases
  • That being of African-American descent were diseases
So a real stand-up guy, right?

This is the basis of alcoholism is a disease.

In addition many are told...

  • The disease has no cure
  • The disease can only be diagnosed by yourself
  • Following a certain program is a remedy for an incurable disease
I think this is the only disease on planet earth that can not be diagnosed by a specialist. What a peculiar disease that only the sufferer can diagnose. How peculiar that this disease has no cure and can never have a cure, despite the world moving on, new medications and new approached to addiction treatment, alcoholism is immune to everything and is incurable.

So what is the damage done?

Well there's a few ways this hurts people

  • When they relapse, or if they do not like certain treatment approaches, they can give up because they first learn they are incurable and if the cure doesn't work for them, they lose hope
  • They are psychologically programmed to make alcohol
  • The concept of having a disease, effectively strips the addict of their personal responsibility - it's not their fault, they have an ailment - which in turn absolves them of responsibility in a relapse and the recovery process itself - hence the "higher power"
In other words - the belief that alcohol is a disease can lead to worsening their habits because they are now no longer responsible or it's a hopeless task. They have been programmed to fail outside of the treatment program that taught them it was an incurable disease.

Alcoholism is not a disease scientifically speaking because it has no physically measurable symptoms. There is no way to diagnose an alcoholic or test for the signs of the disease in it's development. For instance, if you took a Muslim that had never had a drink, there would be no test that would identify that person as an alcoholic. The only way to tell is when they start drinking - because there is nothing there to see.

The dropout rate at AA us roughly 95%. That's 95% of people that make the first meeting are no longer going after 3 months. Many of these people leave with the belief that they have an incurable disease as opposed to the fact that they have a substance abuse issue. So whilst many people abstain through AA, it is by no means the "last resort" or the only means of treating the addiction.

For those that got to recovery through AA, I salute you.

For those that found it not for them, do not give up hope, you are in the vast majority of people that do not stick with that program. This does not mean you are stuck with something for life. You may well have to accept responsibility for where you are now, that you are not diseased but addicted.

It's urgent to go consult.

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It's good to be alive this Sunday morning and to be able to function without a drink or the prospect of getting drunk today. I spent yesterday afternoon in the rice paddies to the north of Phetchburi with my six year old son looking at eagles, harriers and other birds. I had a relaxed Saturday night with my wife and our kids before an early sleep. My son is playing in a football tournament later today so we'll head for that.I've got some reading to do for some personal study (non-recovery related) I'm doing so I'll spend a couple of hours on that this morning. Work tomorrow. Life is good.

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I need a beer

Thank you for introducing Scuzz, a great way to start a (hell what day is it?) I will get back to the serious stuff later.

Scuzz Twittly can help you, Anita Beer:

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I suspect the main reason for the 5% success rate of AA is that the vast majority of people who darken the door of AA don't really want to stop drinking.

They want to get the law off their back, they want to fill in their court ordered attendance records, they want to get their wife back (or just off their back), they want to get their boss off their back (or not lose their job), they want to get their driver's license back, and on and on.

Or they want to learn how to keep on drinking in a controlled manner without suffering the consequences of their drinking. Sadly, even modern science doesn't have that answer, never mind a bunch of recovering drunks who enjoy each others' company. There is no magic secret.

2 things I've learned in 26 years: AA can't make you want it, and AA can't do it for you. You have to want to stop, and you have to do the work.

All we (as AA members) can do is to show you how our lives were, what we did to change it, and what our lives are like today. Then it's up to you to decide and to act- or not.

The good news: Nothing is required that anyone can't do- no matter what their IQ, their economic status, their religion (or lack thereof) or their busy schedule.

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