There is a constant dispute amongst the medical and psychological community as to whether alcoholism is, in fact, a disease or just a state of mind. Many of the researchers have classified alcoholism as a disease (Peele 1). Dictionary.com has defined “disease” broadly as an “involuntary choice made by the individual” (5 entries 1). This definition does not comply with alcoholics because they can, like any other human being, determine that drinking has many unwanted consequences behind it. But an alcoholic just simply doesn’t care.
They cause many of their own troubles by their behavior and the decisions they make. Why should they be looked upon as powerless victims of a falsely concluded disease (Peele 1)? Alcoholism should not be viewed as a disease, but as a habit brought about by the alcoholic’s individual choices.
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that is made up of the following four main symptoms that are common among the disease. They tend to have a craving, or the urge to drink (McKesson 1). The desire for satisfaction is not a sign of a disease, but a sign of humanity. Ill people don’t tend to want to engage in enjoyment; they want to feel better.
This is not the case with alcoholics; they tend to have “fun” being drunk and have no concern of getting better. A second symptom of alcoholism is having no strength of mind or will to stop the consumption of alcohol once it has started (McKesson 3).
This perspective is totally ridiculous that any intelligent person would fall down laughing. How would anyone know if one is able to do something until he/she does it? The needless amount of drinking, even to the point of blacking out, doesn’t show the inability to say no next time. Numerous amounts of people who came close to death while drinking unexpectedly stop drinking overall and regain their lives from their bad habit with in a blink of an eye. A third symptom of an alcoholic is their Physical dependence.
After an alcoholic cuts off their consumption of alcohol they may start to vomit, sweat, or shake (Alcoholism 2). This “symptom” has absolutely nothing to do with any other kind of disease. Almost anyone is vulnerable to being reliant on a wide variety of substances. Many people see others get addicted to things like coke or weed and its never heard to call this addiction cokeism/weedism or even classify it as a disease. Therefore being addicted to something does not indicate that one has acquired a “disease”.
One of the last main symptoms of this so-called disease of an alcoholic is their tolerance. The tolerance of an alcoholic is the need to consume a larger quantity of alcohol than a non-alcoholic just to get “high” (McKesson 3). There has not been any other “diseases” recorded to have the same symptoms as alcoholism. Therefore this symptom also cannot conclude that alcoholism is a disease. The presences of “symptoms” do not provide any evidence of a pre-existing disease (Gans 1).
Many of the diseases in the world today have treatments that help to control or cure a disease. Alcoholism on the other hand is not a disease because it all begins with ones decision to consume alcohol. There are absolutely no cures for free will. There are no unknown or secrete reasons for an addiction, or for the causes of diseases. An addiction treatment is a false practice because when one has gone to a treatment center, the success rate for getting the one to stop drinking is slim to none (Alcohol Dependence 2).
This is all because the person must have will power to stop drinking alcohol and when the person is forced to stop his consumption of alcohol, he is almost guaranteed to drink again when not being supervised. These so-called addicts become very desperate to stop their habit, which causes them to be highly open to information that is supposedly intended “help” them. They are forced to take control of their life by living an alcohol/drug free life. More than anything else, they need to hear the truth about addiction and recovery. But this is not true with today’s recovery treatment centers.
They tend to tell the alcoholics what is commonly known about alcoholism, which is that this “disease” is not their fault. The majority of researches would claim that alcoholism is a disease because there are many alcohol incidents that cause the US a lot of money each year. Nearly half of all car accidents were alcohol related. Alcohol also contributes with social issues such as murder, suicide, injury, homelessness, and violent crimes that caused the US to spend more than $130 billion dollar each year (Gordis 1).
One way the US thought to fix this money problem is by telling the citizens of the US that alcoholism is a disease so they can easily persuade one to go to a treatment center. This will eventually result in one being brainwashed about the idea of alcoholism as a disease and will be a lot easier for the treatment center to control them. The US is ignoring the idea of letting people stop on their own because they know that it will be nearly impossible get millions of people to stop doing something that they enjoy.
Today’s society and alcoholics have both been mislead by the mistaken classification of alcoholism as a disease. It is not right to let alcoholics believe they are powerless and reliant on others, that they have an unavoidable disease. It is also not right to justify them legally and award them individual government benefits at the cost of the US citizens. Therefore, it is inappropriate for society to continue to view them as helpless victims, and pay for their treatments. Despite the fact the US citizens continue to pay thousands of dollars each year, there are still millions of lives lost due to drunk driving drunk.
Alcoholics aren’t powerless and should never be looked upon that way. Their choices led them to the life they live now and they should start take responsibility for their actions. It is time for America to step in and stop viewing alcoholism as a disease, and start viewing it for what it’s actually not, an addiction or habit brought about by ones personal choices.
Bibliography”5 entries found for disease..”. Dictionary. March 2000 Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. 1 Jan. 2008, Penfield Public Library .
“Alcohol Dependence.” National Mental Health Association. February 2001. Thomas Gale Group. Penfield School Library. January 1 2008 .
“Alcoholism.” Sick! U*X*L. May 2000. Student Resource Center, Thomson Gale. Penfield School Library. 1 Jan. 2008, Gans, Stevens. “Alcoholism As a Disease.” The New York Times Company. November 23 2004. 2006. 1 January 2008 Gordis, Enoch. “Alcoholism.”. January 2001: World Book Online Reference Center. Penfield School Library, Jan 1 2008.
Peele, Stanton. “Shouldn’t we treat alcoholism as a disease?.” May 2000. SASICT. 1 Jan. 2008 .