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pedro01

Alcoholism - why believing it is a disease could be damaging

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The first thing an Alcoholic does, when they realise they are an Alcoholic is tell the world, how it is not a disease and that they can cut down themselves.

If you can then, the best of luck to you. But for those who can't the AA works, but I am afraid it comes with a catch.

 

You must be willing Drink Deep or Taste Not.

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The Op's history is incorrect - and so are most of his premises. (especially about other drugs)

there IS a body of thought - or actually several different bodies who for one reason or another think the either alcohol isn't a disease oir calling it a disease doesn't aid treatment or cure - ......

 

Unfortunately most people who drink too much love to cling to "alternative" theories about the problem, usually not based on the arguments but just as a tool to obfuscate or justify their substance abuse.

 

To give up or control drinking one needs to know oneself and sadly disease or not, drinking is a wonderful tool for denial.

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17 hours ago, cumgranosalum said:

The Op's history is incorrect - and so are most of his premises. (especially about other drugs)

there IS a body of thought - or actually several different bodies who for one reason or another think the either alcohol isn't a disease oir calling it a disease doesn't aid treatment or cure - ......

 

Unfortunately most people who drink too much love to cling to "alternative" theories about the problem, usually not based on the arguments but just as a tool to obfuscate or justify their substance abuse.

 

To give up or control drinking one needs to know oneself and sadly disease or not, drinking is a wonderful tool for denial.

 

You have an opinion. Your opinion may be that you have a problem for life. You have faith in that premise and believe in it. If that floats your boat, then great.

 

But what about nicotinaholics, heroinaholics, methaholics, cocainaholics? It is accepted with all these substances that the chemical causes addiction through chemical adaptations in the brain. 

 

But you and booze are different and you have a problem for life and you are on drink away from total relapse. That has been drummed into your head and you have faith in it. 

 

It's AA that has the "alternative theory" alcohol is simply one of a long list of addictive substances. There is nothing special about an alcoholic whatsoever. It can happen to anyone.


Sure - tell yourself you are different, that it's not your fault, that you have a disease. The thing is - the disease didn't cause the addiction. The substance caused the addiction and the fact that some people call the addiction a disease does NOT mean the disease was the cause. 

 

AA people simply have cause and effect the wrong way around. The disease didn't cause the addiction. The over consumption caused the addiction which is named a disease.

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18 hours ago, autanic said:

The first thing an Alcoholic does, when they realise they are an Alcoholic is tell the world, how it is not a disease and that they can cut down themselves.

If you can then, the best of luck to you. But for those who can't the AA works, but I am afraid it comes with a catch.

 

You must be willing Drink Deep or Taste Not.

 

This is utter nonsense. 99% of people that have drinking problems don't even hear that it's a disease until they step into an AA meeting.

 

It is an addiction.

 

Of course - alcoholics think they can cut down but at some point they realize that cutting down is impossible. Plenty of us have been there.

 

As for AA - there is no need to drink deep. Many people are given the advice to go there and "take from it what you need and not be put off by the spiritual aspect".

 

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3 hours ago, Dagnabbit said:

 

This is utter nonsense. 99% of people that have drinking problems don't even hear that it's a disease until they step into an AA meeting.

 

It is an addiction.

 

Of course - alcoholics think they can cut down but at some point they realize that cutting down is impossible. Plenty of us have been there.

 

As for AA - there is no need to drink deep. Many people are given the advice to go there and "take from it what you need and not be put off by the spiritual aspect".

 

 

I have known people that have gone to AA and trust me the minute you start missing meeting, thats the point, when they say "See, I'm alright". Week may be two weeks later, they have it in them to pick up a drink.

On the other hand, I have seen people who have genuinely hit the "rock bottom" and for them, they needed the spirital side as much as the meeting. One guy I know, 15 years sober and he could drink the whole lot of us under the table and be at the bar ordering more.

 

My point is, AA works.  It is a program and therefore treating it like a buffet where you take and leave stuff, is the fast road back to drinking again.

 

If you you (not Dagnabitt), but you the reader, find that you are depending on alcohol more and more, then try to give it up and struggle, then please do not wait to hit rock bottom, there is no shame or disgrace in seeking help, before things take a turn for the worst.

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On 9/4/2016 at 0:42 AM, Dagnabbit said:

 

 

As for AA - there is no need to drink deep. Many people are given the advice to go there and "take from it what you need and not be put off by the spiritual aspect".

 

 

I think the reason AA has gone from around a 75% success rate when it started to much lower is due to alcoholics not realizing that the only way for an alcoholic to recover is by spiritual means. It is a spiritual program. 

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I have known people that have gone to AA and trust me the minute you start missing meeting, thats the point, when they say "See, I'm alright". Week may be two weeks later, they have it in them to pick up a drink.
On the other hand, I have seen people who have genuinely hit the "rock bottom" and for them, they needed the spirital side as much as the meeting. One guy I know, 15 years sober and he could drink the whole lot of us under the table and be at the bar ordering more.
 
My point is, AA works.  It is a program and therefore treating it like a buffet where you take and leave stuff, is the fast road back to drinking again.
 
If you you (not Dagnabitt), but you the reader, find that you are depending on alcohol more and more, then try to give it up and struggle, then please do not wait to hit rock bottom, there is no shame or disgrace in seeking help, before things take a turn for the worst.


AA fails many more people than it helps.

As such, your claim that 'it works' rings hollow.

It works for a small percentage of people that try it.



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I think the reason AA has gone from around a 75% success rate when it started to much lower is due to alcoholics not realizing that the only way for an alcoholic to recover is by spiritual means. It is a spiritual program. 


What exactly is 'the spirit'?

Is it something that has been proven to exist?

Can it be measured in any way?

How can it be diseased if it cannot be proven to exist?

Can it take a pill?


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On 24.8.2016 at 11:01 PM, Johnniey said:

Alcoholism is a disease. Are you someone who knows more than the expert doctors?

I'm sure there are some real doctors in the following organizations who say alcoholism is a disease. I'll listen to them thanks.

The American Medical Association, The World Health Organization, American Psychiatric Association, the American Hospital Association, theAmerican Public Health Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American College of Physicians , Joint Committee of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine

 

did you read my post:

the medical definition of "disease" can fit anything that's harmful.

the term is completely devoid of any meaning beyond of "something bad".

but for the masses,  the word implies something different, so using it is intellectually dishonest with the goal of manipulating public opinion, a.k.a. propaganda.

 

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7 hours ago, Dagnabbit said:

 


What exactly is 'the spirit'?

Is it something that has been proven to exist?

Can it be measured in any way?

How can it be diseased if it cannot be proven to exist?

Can it take a pill?


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If you're interested in an experts opinion, here's a link to a letter from Dr. Carl Jung to Bill Wilson, the co-founder of AA.

http://www.barefootsworld.net/jungletter.html

 

Dear Mr. W.
Your letter has been very welcome indeed.

I had no news from Rowland H. anymore and often wondered what has been his fate. Our conversation which he has adequately reported to you had an aspect of which he did not know. The reason that I could not tell him everything was that those days I had to be exceedingly careful of what I said. I had found out that I was misunderstood in every possible way. Thus I was very careful when I talked to Rowland H. But what I really thought about was the result of many experiences with men of his kind.

His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.*

How could one formulate such an insight in a language that is not misunderstood in our days?
The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding. You might be led to that goal by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher education of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism. I see from your letter that Rowland H. has chosen the second way, which was, under the circumstances, obviously the best one.

I am strongly convinced that the evil principle prevailing in this world leads the unrecognized spiritual need into perdition, if it is not counteracted either by real religious insight or by the protective wall of human community. An ordinary man, not protected by an action from above and isolated in society, cannot resist the power of evil, which is called very aptly the Devil. But the use of such words arouses so many mistakes that one can only keep aloof from them as much as possible.

These are the reasons why I could not give a full and sufficient explanation to Rowland H., but I am risking it with you because I conclude from your very decent and honest letter that you have acquired a point of view above the misleading platitudes one usually hears about alcoholism.
You see, "alcohol" in Latin is "spiritus" and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.

Thanking you again for your kind letter.

I remain
Yours sincerely

C. G. Jung*

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." (Psalms 42:1)

 

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