How Is It Possible to Absolutely Categorize Alcoholim as a Disease and Not an Illness?

Question by denveryay: How is it possible to absolutely categorize Alcoholim as a disease and not an illness?
“Disease” is a very loosely defined term in many respects. There are multiple disorders, infenctions, and symptoms that can be typical of a definable disease. Also, a disease must have specific and constant cause(s), which in the case of Alcoholism is the CHOICE to drink ethyl-alcohol. The cause of the “disease” is the recurring and disregarding CHOICE to drink. A choice, however pathological or illogical, doesn’t seem to be appropriate as a cause or a condition of any disease. Despite the negative psychological, physiological, and other results of long-term alcohol abuse, it seems that it shouldn’t be classified as anything more than a treatable mental disorder.

“Illness, although often used to mean disease, can also refer to a person’s perception of their health, regardless of whether they in fact have a disease. A person without any disease may feel unhealthy and believe he has an illness. Another person may feel healthy and believe he does not have an illness even though he may have a disease” – Wikipedia on ‘Disease’

It is true that if some Alcoholics didn’t have a disease to blame for their disorder, they would not be able to stop drinking. It is also true that because of Alcholism-as-a-disease, many people who ABUSE alcohol are led into misperceptions about their drinking habits. In fact, it is only alcohol DEPENDENCE that could possibly even begin to be categorized as a disease.

An individual who is alcohol-dependent exhibits behavior indicitive of addiction. Drink-seeking, withdrawal and tolerance, and psychological malfunction among others are the results and symptoms of addiction. My father and friends have struggled with alchohol and drug addictions and I have seen the both successful and unsuccessful treatments implemented in their lives.

It seems that Alcoholism and drug addictions are psychological disorders that in a vast majority of instances could be cured by a conscious choice (however difficult) to STOP using the cause of the addiction. It has been proven in many instances that an addict can stop using the object of their addiction without any complications, as long as they are commited to quitting.

It seems that diseases should only be those such as Cancer, Diabetes, Hepatitis and the like. People who have these diseases cannot make a choice to simply stop a behavior to ease their pains. Whereas, although undoubtedly difficult, an addict can ease his or her addiction by making a powerful choice to stop using.

By allowing alcoholism to be categorized as a disease, it seems that negative stigma is removed from addicts’ behaviors and people who drink are given an excuse to justify their behavior. Instead of feeling like they’ve let themselves and their families down, they are able to blam their behavior on a cause outside of their control, which is simply not true.

“Neither the U.S. Veterans Administration nor the Social Security Administration makes payments to individuals, whose disabilities stem from substance abuse, including alcoholism.” – From Shoutwire

I am NOT pro- or anti- any of this I am looking for factual objective evidence and ideas that could lead to helping me understand why Alchoholism is given reprieve by its disease classification.

Best answer:

Answer by kentuckyredhead5353
Well about half way through I had a problem and I developed this question. What is the difference with what you were saying in comparison to a cigarette smoker for some it’s the habit and the motion and some get physically sick for the lack of nicotine is it not similar. emotional vs physical and different for different personality types? :-) Guess I could read on have a good one:-)
OK I’m finally done now i get it, it’s all in there head so all they have to do is get it out of their head and it will all go away. They just will it away. Take 2 aspirins have a sucker and call me in the morning:-)
oh excuse me revision: update-read the last part. it was taken out as a disease because social security was being drained by leagal alcoholics that the government makes good taxes off of. The only help and recourse for a recovering alcoholic, drug user, vet, is a mental health clinic because why did they drink in the first place. Now uncle sam pays for their drugs and kills them off with a lousy health plan. looks who is on all the class action suits that will never collect anything. Trust me I have done my homework on this subject. I know many vets and low income disabled people. Nothing has changed but the name of the disease.

Answer by vinnydamedic
The so called “holy bible” of the world of Psychology and Psychaitry classifies Alcoholism as an addiction, and a psychological disorder (call it illness, disease, whatnot). With it’s classification in the DSM-IVTR, it is now possible to use this disorder as reason for non-competence for crimes, permanent psychiatric disability and other medical claims.

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