A Conversation for Alcohol Abuse
Titania (gone for lunch) Started conversation May 31, 2002
paddy Posted May 31, 2002
If you live in the uk you might find this an eye opener
Titania (gone for lunch) Posted May 31, 2002
Various unaired issues
SeedNotHerd Posted Dec 15, 2003
Is alcoholism a disease? Alcohol abuse can certainly CAUSE disease e.g. to liver, kidneys, brain. Similarly, physical addiction, involving withdrawal symptoms, etc.must count - I should think - as a disease. But non-physical so-called 'psychological addiction' is another story; it may be as daft as people wanting to have sex a lot because it's nice, but I don't know where medicine - psychological or not - comes into this. 'Cure' this and you might want to 'cure' homosexuals, as some idiots still do. We are often afraid of telling our kids that the reason many people do drugs is that the effects are nice.
My point is that we attempt to medicalise all kinds of things that aren't truly medical in nature, to establish a social norm or standard. Then we call 'sick' those who do not conform - drink drivers for example, who may be antisocial as a result of weakness or bad character or selfishness but are not sick in any medical sense. There are issues of epistemology and the underlying, often not explicit philosophy of medicine.
This is a part of my problem with Alcoholics Anonymous too, who encourage us to think that the solution to our problems are somehow out of control unless we give ourselves over to 'a higher power'. If you personally still believe that you are responsible for resolving your alcohol problem - albeit, if you're sensible, getting as much help as wife, world and, yes, doctors can give - then the will to succeed is FOR SOME PEOPLE (and AA is right for many, many others) diluted by the AA type formula, or any formula that calls it a sickness rather than (say) a choice. While 'cognitive dissonance' approaches are widely used in psychiatric medicine, their use to help those abusing alcohol does not to my mind establish alcoholism as a disease.
Incidentally, interested parties should look up on the Internet KUDZU (Chinese in origin, said to reduce craving for alcohol) and ANTABUSE (a violent medicine which causes great discomfort if combined with alcohol intake. If you drink, can't stop, don't want to stop, you should supplement your diet with vitamins B12, B-complex, and/or any good cocktail of anti-oxidants which will mop up at least some of the free radicals that alcohol generates and that cause damage to brain, liver, kidneys. And review your diet for the presence or absence of the normal healthy range of vitamins AND MINERALS. Elsewhere on this site I'm sure you will find hangover cures, but do a booksearch on Keith Floyd - he wrote a book on drinking that includes some practical hangover cures; I forget its name.
I hope this contribution is useful to someone.
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