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Current time: May 27, 2022, 12:41 pm

Poll: Alcoholism is a disease and genetic disposition
This poll is closed.
Yes, it is. (both)
8.70%
2 8.70%
No, it isn't. (both)
43.48%
10 43.48%
Yes, it is a disease. No, not genetic.
8.70%
2 8.70%
Yes, it is genetic. No, not a disease.
39.13%
9 39.13%
Total 23 vote(s) 100%
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Alcoholism
#1
Alcoholism
My mother has been driving me insane the past week with all of her incorrect and unverified opinions on everything. And so, I want to see if any of you can help me clear up a few things.


My mother claims that people can have a genetic disposition to alcoholism and that it is a disease. While the research I've found has lead me to believe that there is a certain part of your brain that controls the effect that drugs (both opiate and non) can make your experience with alcohol vary. But nothing in stone. Just hints that it may be genetic and that it may be a disease depending on how you define a disease.

I for one, do not believe that alcoholism is a disease. A disease is something like Kidney Disease. You can't just wake up one day after going to KDA (kidney disease anonymous) and decide through religion shoved down your throat and talks about how you're powerless against it, finally decide to stop having kidney disease.

So if anyone can help me find some proof. Any proof that my mom doesn't know what she's talking about, it would be greatly appreciated. :]

Also, apologies if I've posted in the wrong section. I figured that it was appropriate because scientist determine whether it is a disease or not that this thread belonged here. Please place it in the right place if it isn't this category.


Thanks,

KK
Saerules Wrote:The air, tis wonderful!

Saerules Wrote:No, don't even ask what I just laughed at. I will not tell you what I just laughed at! You may think I'm going to tell you what I just laughed at, but I'm not!
xD
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#2
RE: Alcoholism
It's not a disease. I hate when people say it is. It is simply an addiction. I'm really lucky in that I carry the genes that make me sick before I can get really drunk. I can have one or two wines, get tipsy and red-cheeked, but any more and I'm barfing and feeling like shit. I have never had a hangover. I think it's lucky because that meant I turned to the much more physically safer marijuana as my recreational choice. No physical addiction or damage (such as drinker's livers). There is a possibility of psych addiction but same with anything, such as chewing your fingernails.

Back when I was a teen, a good friend was a binge drinker, and some other friends tried to tell me this was a problem (it wasn't, but whatever). So, they took me to an al-anon meeting, where I was totally appalled that they expected belief in a magical 'higher power'. They told me it works for atheists too because it doesn't have to be a god. I tried explaining that I didn't believe in any higher powers at all, gods or any other types to no avail. 12 step programs are shitty. They take up space that secular styled addiction programs should have instead. Make amends, my ass, that should be optional, like magical higher powers should be.
I'm really shitty at giving kudos and rep. That's because I would be inconsistent in remembering to do them, and also I don't really want it to show if any favouritism is happening. Even worse would be inconsistencies causing false favouritisms to show. So, fuck it. Just assume that I've given you some good rep and a number of kudos, and everyone should be happy...
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#3
RE: Alcoholism
I'm a little bit disgusted.

Deep breath.

As someone who is an alcoholic (I prefer addictive personalty disorder, since I don't actually drink) I am always amazed and offended by people who do not have an addictive personality (to the point of legitimate disorder) marginalizing and poo-pooing those weak willed drunks. It is something, and I assure you, that's a situation you can't fully comprehend or understand without going through it one way or another.

It is, as always, a game of semantics. I can argue that Alcoholism is genetic very easily. My father is an alcoholic, although 15 years sober. My brother is not an alcoholic. I am. I see a genetic component there, as that all of my traits and predispositions have to be genetic. Alcoholism, in my mind, is very nature and very little nurture. The research, and common sense shows that like red hair and extra digits, an addictive personality is inherited.

I can also argue that it is a disease, as Kitten said, dependant of course on the definition of such. A disease is something that is wrong with the perfect function of your body that you don't have full control over. Having, say, diabetes is a disease. It adds to the level of dis-ease in your life. If alcoholism is not a disease, than I demand you remove all other emotional and mental diseases. Schizophrenics (something I am also very familiar with) aren't sick, they just aren't trying hard enough to ignore the voices. Depressives are not sick, they just listen to too much Emo. People with OCD spectrum disorders are just seeking attention.

Allow me to try to define addictive personality disorder, for clarity. I would define it personally as a disorder in the physiological brain (meaning objective, meaning if you looked hard enough you could find it and point to it). Addiction is available to all, but for some we have a genetic disposition to be more effected by addiction. It is much, much harder for me to quit smoking than it is for you. Unfair, but the way it happens to be. It is also larger and fuzzier than that, in the sense that I also exhibit traits that are the same thing. I am intensely interested in things for about one week, and then move on to other things. This is a symptom of the same personality type.

If you both do not understand, or beleive in alcoholism, than I applaud how lucky you are to not either have to fight it, or have to fight your parents who have it. Please try to not come across as the "those people are just weak-willed" crowd, it is demeaning to your character.

And that AA is "shitty" and "takes up space secular programs should have", I can only laugh. So you cast scorn on the most positive secret society known to modern man, not because they are a religious institution (they are specifically not) but because they mention a higher power? You also say they explained that the higher power can be anything, including yourself, the door knob or nothingness. Did you miss the point? It is using the mind-tool that is belief to get people to overcome both an addiction and a mental illness, and you shun it? So as an atheist, pragmatic useful belief for the sake of healing is as much bull shit as the rest?

You don't beleive in higher powers? At all? I would love to see how you act around the police. If they are not a higher power than you, you should be belligerent and rude to the point that it would entertain me. What about God Damn Barky Obama, is he a higher power than yourself? There is no one or thing, the concept of the country you live in, math, language, culture, history...; that you consider higher than yourself? Shit.

I am an alcoholic, I don't ask for any special treatment, I don't want anything from you for it. But it is real, and we do suffer. You think part of the healing structure about making amends, apologizing for all the horrible things you did as an addict is stupid? Your arguing with about 3 or 4 generations of people saved. Millions upon millions of people working together to create a like minded community with the sole purpose of making the world a better place for all. But they use the term higher power, so they made the shit list. Unbelievable.

Thanks,
-Pip
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#4
RE: Alcoholism
So a recovered alcoholic who fathers two children, only one of which turns to alcoholism means it's genetic? Sorry Pippy, but until actual evidence turns up I'm not convinced.
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#5
RE: Alcoholism
Pippy sounds like the fat-ass who crys their obesity is genetic and a disease.

Even if we agreed the propensity to acoholism / obesity has genetic roots one still must fuel that process.

It's like my 5.2 ltr V-8 in my pick'em-up truck is predisposed to use much more fuel than my Kia Rio it ain't gonna happen unless I put fuel into it.

An alcoholic may be predisposed to alcholism but it ain't gonna happen if you don't put the alcohol in them.
A fatass may be predisposed to obesity, but it ain't gonna happen if they put down the bag of cheetos.

Like Kawa said, " You can't just wake up one day after going to KDA (kidney disease anonymous) and decide through religion shoved down your throat and talks about how you're powerless against it, finally decide to stop having kidney disease."

So, as sucky as it sounds, pippy, it is a matter of a weak-will. I say this because I too, have a highly addictive personallity. Clinically diagnosed? No. I don't need a buncha white-coats to tell me that, I know it. I smoke cigarettes like a freight train. I'm psycologically addicted to marijuana.
I don't/can't stop because of my weak-will. Nothing more. I had several other addictions in my time that I did stop because I mustered up the testicular fortitude and will to stop. It sucked and was agonizingly tough, but do-able. Same with alcoholics and fat-asses. They can do it, if they don't it's a choice they make, unlike a disease where you cannot simply 'chose' to have it or not.
P.S. @ Kawa;

It's genetic, not gentic. (Poll question)
I used to tell a lot of religious jokes. Not any more, I'm a registered sects offender.
---------------
...the least christian thing a person can do is to become a christian. ~Chuck
---------------
NO MA'AM
[Image: attemptingtogiveadamnc.gif]
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#6
RE: Alcoholism
Alcoholism is not a disease. It's a myth propagated by the people who founded AA. I once did an extensive writeup about why Alcoholism is not a disease, but it went bye bye when I deleted my blog, unfortunately. In any case, there is absolutely no evidence for a disease. My mother constantly tells me it's a disease, listing vague symptoms to justify her claim. And these vague symptoms are along the lines of "It tries to kill you, affects your family life," and some other nonsense. I don't remember the exact words, but that's the gist of it. These vague, non medical symptoms do NOT a disease make. It's an addiction, and in many cases a symptom of mental illness and depression.

It is also not genetic, it's hereditary. What I mean is that there is no biological agent that passes on alcoholism from a parent to a child, which would be genetics. However, Alcoholism does run through families, therefor it does of a hereditary element. It is a well known fact that psychologically we go to what we know. How often do we see a child who was abused become an abuser himself? Alcoholic homes are tumultuous and will always leave a scar on the children. It's not surprising that some will then turn to drinking themselves. Furthermore, there are such things as addictive personalities, and if they are inherited, then that's another reason a child can become an alcoholic. But it's still not genetic, there's no specific genetic trait within biology that has bee found to transfer alcoholism from parent to child.

I have lived with alcoholism all my life. My mother has been sober since 2002 and never touched a drop sense. My father is another story, he'll be sober for a while and then fall off the wagon. AA works for my mother, not so much for my father. My sister believed she was an alcoholic, but she then realized she was just in a bad spot and she now drinks without any alcoholic problems. My uncle died of alcoholism last year when he drank his way to liver sorosis. There other members of my family, cousins, and an aunt, where alcoholism has been a problem. It's a very personal issue to me, but the facts are simple. There's no evidence that supports alcoholism is a disease.

There are consistent misconceptions about how to deal with alcoholism. AA has a 5% success rate. That is the SAME rate of spontaneous remission in alcoholism. Spontaneous remission refers to people who just stop without any help. AA is no better than people who decide to quit on their own, yet people constantly insist AA is the way, that you need to give yourself up to God to get help. I hate AA. It has a monopoly on helping Alcoholics when it has done nothing to significantly improve the rate of people quitting. I wish people would stop putting so much stock in a religion that has no evidence to back its claims and better medical research into treating alcoholism based on what it really is.
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin

::Blogs:: Boston Atheism Examiner - Boston Atheists Blog | :Tongueodcast:: Boston Atheists Report
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#7
RE: Alcoholism
(June 10, 2010 at 8:41 am)Pippy Wrote: You don't beleive in higher powers? At all?

Not when it comes to personal decisions and choices. There are 'higher powers' than me, such as that judge I'm standing in front of. But when it came to the decision to do what got me there in front of him, stealing that candybar or drinking that bottle of Jack Daniels, that was solely me. There was no 'higher power' that had and bearing on my decision. Same with those who decide enough is enough and stop drinking. It is soley their decision and has no 'higher power' helping them along.

I too was in a 12 step program. The State of Texas in all it's wisdom ordered me to complete it for marijuana addiction to avoid jail time.

Of course I had a problem with the whole 'higher-power' shit. Yes our social constructs placed the police as a 'higher power' than me, but I'll be damned if I was going to pray to the police.

"Oh Officer Smith, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can............." (you know the rest)

They did nothing to convice me to accept step one, and I did not hold back on letting the group know this, so I started on step two. In reality I completed a 11 step program.

As a side-note. I was stoned at 75% of the meetings and still smoking. Hell, I'm stoned right now.

Why? 'Cause I'm weak willed. I have not the will to stop.
I used to tell a lot of religious jokes. Not any more, I'm a registered sects offender.
---------------
...the least christian thing a person can do is to become a christian. ~Chuck
---------------
NO MA'AM
[Image: attemptingtogiveadamnc.gif]
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#8
RE: Alcoholism
(June 10, 2010 at 8:41 am)Pippy Wrote: And that AA is "shitty" and "takes up space secular programs should have", I can only laugh. So you cast scorn on the most positive secret society known to modern man, not because they are a religious institution (they are specifically not) but because they mention a higher power? You also say they explained that the higher power can be anything, including yourself, the door knob or nothingness. Did you miss the point? It is using the mind-tool that is belief to get people to overcome both an addiction and a mental illness, and you shun it? So as an atheist, pragmatic useful belief for the sake of healing is as much bull shit as the rest?
I am not a power higher than myself. I am myself. Doorknobs and nothingness are also not higher powers. I am not comfortable with trying to trick myself (the self trickery called faith) into believing something is of greater importance and sentience than it really is. A 'higher power', although much vaguer in definition than a god, is still a supernatural power/entity which one must believe in, and assign helpful attributes to, in order to participate in the AA 12 step method.
I'm really shitty at giving kudos and rep. That's because I would be inconsistent in remembering to do them, and also I don't really want it to show if any favouritism is happening. Even worse would be inconsistencies causing false favouritisms to show. So, fuck it. Just assume that I've given you some good rep and a number of kudos, and everyone should be happy...
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#9
RE: Alcoholism
As others have already said, alcoholism and other substance misuse problems are not diseases. They are maladaptive and/or self-harming patterns of behaviour.

The whole idea of a pattern of behaviour being a disease is insidious nonsense.

Insidious because: It is profoundly disempowering. If addiction is a disease, then it is outside of the individual's control, and is not their responsibility. Whereas in reality, what the addict needs to do is to recognize that it is their behaviour that is the problem, accept responsibility for their actions, and take concrete steps to change their life. In other words, they need to own their addiction.

Nonsense because: Diseases aren't the result of choices. No one chooses to become a schizophrenic, or to get malaria. Substance misuse is entirely the result of freely chosen actions. Its a pattern of behaviour created by the addict, and not by anyone or anything else. Getting out of the pattern often requires support, but its still the case that only the desire and will to change can lead to change.

For the record, I've never been an alcoholic, although I am no stranger to addiction. I smoke. I used to smoke an awful lot of dope- giving that up wasn't too hard. I also had a period of 8 or 9 months when I had a serious coke habit- that was very bad indeed. I've also worked with people with addiction issues, using the harm minimization model.

And yes, AA and the 12-step model suck.
He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity.
Mikhail Bakunin

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything
Friedrich Nietzsche
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#10
RE: Alcoholism
Hey,

As always I am happy to follow up, and apologetic if I am anything less than charming.

Quote:So a recovered alcoholic who fathers two children, only one of which turns to alcoholism means it's genetic? Sorry Pippy, but until actual evidence turns up I'm not convinced.
You always bite on the easy ones. I leave those for the lampreys, and surely they don't let lampreys into Cambridge. Unless attached to sharks...

Quote:Pippy sounds like the fat-ass who crys their obesity is genetic and a disease.
I suppose, but I would want to say it is different. One, an unhealthy relationship with food is different, as food is a need and stimulants and mind alter substances/experiences are certainly wants. Not needs at the least...

Quote:An alcoholic may be predisposed to alcholism but it ain't gonna happen if you don't put the alcohol in them.
Very true, but alcoholism is actually a personality disorder, and they would still display whatever other symptoms and ramifications of that problem. It is not alcohol, or even addiction that is the disorder but a predisposition to lend yourself to addictive behavior. Or moreover some problem, that I beleive real and tangible, that as a side effect causes us to behave in a manner that easily adapts and ritualizes addictive behavior of all kinds. So yes, in a sense you need alcohol to be an alcoholic, but in another you do not. I am an alcoholic (a word i try not to use for clarity) and I haven't had a drink in years. I am an addict though.

Quote:So, as sucky as it sounds, pippy, it is a matter of a weak-will. I say this because I too, have a highly addictive personallity. Clinically diagnosed? No. I don't need a buncha white-coats to tell me that, I know it. I smoke cigarettes like a freight train. I'm psycologically addicted to marijuana.
I hear and appreciate that. I am not whining or asking for pity. I am calm about things. It is certainly not an excuse. Let me make that clear, that I don't want any less responsibility for my actions because I feel that I have a mental disorder. It's not the only one. I am also retarded, but that is another story... It's not an excuse, but it is real.

Quote:It's a myth propagated by the people who founded AA.
Bill W himself!?! How could he? What if, by chance, AA was founded as a means to have like minded community try to solve it's own problems and alleviate suffering? That a simple program could help people overcome addiction and lead better lives? I am always cast as the conspiracy nut, but you've decided AA is a force of evil? You make me smile Eilo. I can say that much.

Quote:These vague, non medical symptoms do NOT a disease make. It's an addiction, and in many cases a symptom of mental illness and depression.
Oh, oh, what about restless legs syndrome? The fact that it's a symptom of mental illness is somewhere we agree. What if, for the sake of naming something to try to fight it, we let people name that mental illness (because it's just a name game in there anyways) alcoholism, or more appropriately Addictive Personality Disorder.

Quote:It is also not genetic, it's hereditary. What I mean is that there is no biological agent that passes on alcoholism from a parent to a child, which would be genetics.
Ah, I think you've dropped the ball. If I am not mistaken, and I may be, hereditary traits HAVE to be genetic, don't they? If my Mom teaches me English as my first language, is that hereditary? If my hair is red, is that hereditary? Would you argue that red hair has no genetic distinction? I rebut that something cannot be hereditary and not genetic. And use your strange logic to explain then how my father became an alcoholic when neither of his parents, none of his grandparents and no uncles, aunts or cousins exhibited the extreme of the human condition labeled as Addictive Personality Disorder. As far as we can tell, we are the only two. Clearly someone in the line was though, and everyone had it, but like other genetic snippets, it is either on or off. If you're arguing somehow that addictive personality disorder is learned, can I say gayness is a choice yet? I agree than an addictive personality is learned, yes. But there is a genetic component that is (frustratingly) named addictive personality disorder, signifying that it is a disease. Such as people can be both obsessive and compulsive as human traits, but can also have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Quote:I hate AA. It has a monopoly on helping Alcoholics when it has done nothing to significantly improve the rate of people quitting.
Gosh, you really charm me. It just makes me smile, I don't know why. You hate AA. That's... cute. They have a monopoly on helping alcoholics... Seriously? So if I try to get my buddy to sober up, they may sue or worse? How do you accuse someone with cruelly trying to help too many of the people? It's like they have a monopoly of picking off warts. How dare they!

And you're gonna really say they haven't helped anyone? Your Ma, my dad, literally thousands and thousands of people I've met in many state and a province being at those silly meetings... But no, it's a religious conspiracy to sneak god in somewhere else, those bastards will stop at nothing.

And I don't care if it is 5%. Trying to heal people is a pretty high calling. I respect that very much. What harm are they doing in trying Eilo? The coffee is free you know.

Quote:but I'll be damned if I was going to pray to the police.
That's kind of what I thought of too, but I meant it a different way. The higher power thing is about dissassociation, it can be any colour or shape, and I don't think they ask you to pray too it. Certainly the North Carolina AA meetings were a touch more christian than the Canadian ones (being not at all, except that the church was the only place nice enough to donate the space), but still...

Quote:I am not a power higher than myself. I am myself.
You are both, it's a part of being human. Read Descartes until you doubt everything, then get back to me.

Quote:Doorknobs and nothingness are also not higher powers
Nor is some Grumpy Old Man in the Sky if were being picky here. Those were a couple of examples of higher powers disbelievers, agnostics and atheists I've known chose.

Quote:I am not comfortable with trying to trick myself (the self trickery called faith) into believing something is of greater importance and sentience than it really is.
But don't you get it? You can try to control the placebo effect, in a sense. Belief is strong, and can be used for good as well as bad, can't it? Can we carefully use it for good, quietly, over here? Or do the atheists say nay?

I suppose you guys make no distinction between good, constructive belief and bad, destructive belief...

I still stand my ground. I have a lot of little holes in my brain. Some are from (da da da) birth trauma, some from a life of drug abuse. Some learned (bad birth counts), and some others inherited genetically. They are not excuses, I cannot repeat that enough. I deal with my own problems, and don't want to have to talk about them. But to deny that I have a genetic predisposition to addictive behavior, to a point where it may or may not count as a mental disorder, would make if far more difficult for me to try to deal with and recover from negative lifestyle choices (how much MDMA can I take before I pass out?)
I vote both.
That was a good one. Thank you all very much for your time. I love everything. Too much MDMA it seems...

The,
-Pip
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