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The disease of "Alcoholism"

 
 
9one1
 
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 10:09 am
I have the disease of alcoholism , i will be sober 5 months on Thursday November 15th, i have had this disease for at least the last 25 years , and to say i have struggled with it and have had the problems that go with it is putting it mildly.

For a long time i desperately tried stopping several times however they were always for the wrong reasons, yet try as i might i failed miserably, only this time is different, i go to alot of AA meetings, i have what is called a "sponsor" who is supportive but does NOT hold my hand by any means, he is there to answer questions i may have about the program( and be a friend) otherwise i'm basically on my own.

I often wondered how did the American Medical Association finally decide to call this a disease, afterall there were thousands of alcoholics out there yet what was the turning point in realizing this thing called alcoholism was killing people everyday, anyway what do you think ?
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 11:07 am
@9one1,
Most of the population thinks of it as a "behavior" problem. Fact is that there iss a genetic marker on several populations (markers withing the short tandem repeat alleles) speciifclly the THIQ metabolism sequencing genes. These are uniwue markers that , have only recently been showing multiple allelic respones. In one case the THIQ metabolism is tied closely with certain body temperature maintenance sites. SO, it apears that many populations of people who were associated with ancestrl peoples who lived either in very cold or very hot temps have these alleles in excess (>55% of population(. Studies have shown that most alcoholics have ancestral ties rom Slovenian, Rus, Ruso=Nordic.Nordic, Gaelic, Innuit,Sino-Rus; Papuan, and desert Amerind and Arctic Asian populations. SO far the studies HAVE NOT shown large allelic responses in Afro populations.
9one1
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 11:43 am
@farmerman,
I'm sorry, please take no offense but i lost you entirely after the first sentence.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:17 pm
@9one1,
9one1 wrote:

I'm sorry, please take no offense but i lost you entirely after the first sentence.


Quote:
Most of the population thinks of it as a "behavior" problem. Fact is that there iss a genetic marker on several populations (markers withing the short tandem repeat alleles) speciifclly the THIQ metabolism sequencing genes. These are uniwue markers that , have only recently been showing multiple allelic respones. In one case the THIQ metabolism is tied closely with certain body temperature maintenance sites. SO, it apears that many populations of people who were associated with ancestrl peoples who lived either in very cold or very hot temps have these alleles in excess (>55% of population(. Studies have shown that most alcoholics have ancestral ties rom Slovenian, Rus, Ruso=Nordic.Nordic, Gaelic, Innuit,Sino-Rus; Papuan, and desert Amerind and Arctic Asian populations. SO far the studies HAVE NOT shown large allelic responses in Afro populations.


Farmerman is typing challenged. He is saying that alcoholism is inherited genetically within families, but it is not an illness. Having an addiction to alcohol is in your genes based on what ethnic group(s) you are descended from. Some ethnic groups have what is called a "marker" in their genetic code that makes them more likely to become alcoholics. Drinking is not something you have to cure, but rather something you might have to avoid depending on your genetics.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:35 pm
@Green Witch,
I didn't see that he said it isn't an illness, just that most of the population doesn't see it as such.

Quote:
One of the difficulties in recognizing alcoholism as a disease is it just plain doesn't seem like one. It doesn't look, sound, smell and it certainly doesn't act like a disease. To make matters worse, generally it denies it exists and resists treatment.

Alcoholism has been recognized for many years by professional medical organizations as a primary, chronic, progressive and sometimes fatal disease. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers a detailed and complete definition of alcoholism, but probably the most simple way to describe it is "a mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink." More


My father was an alcoholic and there's certainly a tendency (probably genetic) towards alcoholism in my family. I never accepted his alcoholism as a disease while he was alive. I'm not sure I do now, but I've read a lot on the medical science of the "disease" by those who believe it to be one.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:38 pm
Quote:
The Scottish physician Thomas Trotter was the first to characterize excessive drinking as a disease, or medical condition.[7]

The American physician Benjamin Rush (1745–1813), a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence — who understood drunkenness to be what we would now call a "loss of control" — was, perhaps, the first to use the term "addiction" in this sort of meaning.[8]

My observations authorize me to say, that persons who have been addicted to them, should abstain from them suddenly and entirely. 'Taste not, handle not, touch not' should be inscribed upon every vessel that contains spirits in the house of a man, who wishes to be cured of habits of intemperance.[8]

Rush argued that "habitual drunkenness should be regarded not as a bad habit but as a disease", describing it as "a palsy of the will".[9] His views are described by Valverde[10] and by Levine:[8]

Between 1980 and 1991, medical organizations, including the AMA, worked together to establish policies regarding their positions on the disease theory. These policies were developed in 1987 in part because third-party reimbursement for treatment was difficult or impossible unless alcoholism were categorized as a disease. The policies of the AMA, formed through consensus of the federation of state and specialty medical societies within their House of Delegates, state, in part:

"The AMA endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice."

In 1991, the AMA further endorsed the dual classification of alcoholism by the International Classification of Diseases under both psychiatric and medical sections. Wiki
9one1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:52 pm
@JPB,
I,too never ,at least for me anyway, wanted to accept or believe it to be a "disease" until i had enough pain as a result of my drinking and had taken a hard look at it and managed to try what they call "control drinking" and i failed big time, then and only then did i give it an honest effort to get sober, knowing full well it was a "disease" and i knew if i didn't get help from detox or AA meetings, i would drink again, well i refused to swallow my pride and i drank again and my life fell apart, the rest is history.
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:56 pm
Early congratulations on FIVE MONTHS.

Joe(way to go)Nation
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 01:58 pm
@9one1,
Do you care to share some of your story with us? When did you start drinking heavily? Does alcoholism run in your family?

Yes, congrats on 5 months!
9one1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 02:24 pm
@JPB,
I'll gladly share my story, alcoholism runs rampant in my family, both sides, mom and dad , i didnt start drinking until i went in the Navy right out of bootcamp,(21yrs old) and i got into trouble right away, arrested by the Marine Corps MP's ( military police) my story is long and drawn out ,but i will say i had lots of problems with my drinking i hurt lots of people, i drank for at least 25 years , i blacked out from the begining and became alcoholic right away, lost many jobs as a result of this disease, i'm in a marriage(7 yrs) right now that even though i'm sober it's shakey , she is patient but if i drink again its OVER, i have one brother who also drinks but is clearly in denial , he has broken his neck in 3 places, he fell over a coffee table, yet to this day he denies he has a problem.


I'm proud i'm able to put some time together away from a drink but i know i'm always one bad decision away from picking up another drink , therefore i go to AA meetings to find out what happens to people who don't go to meetings i can't afford to not stay focused on my recovery otherwise i'm the kind of guy who will become comeplacent and it's only a matter of time before, you guessed it, i relapse, i love my life today and i owe it ALL to AA , yes some think AA is a crutch and honestly i could care less , AA has saved my life and i'm proud i can go to meetings and be confident in my sobriety for that day that i just might not drink, between god and AA i doubt i will relapse but i can't just rely on god and AA i have to do the footwork.


Its painful to think how much pain i iflicted on my wife but as long as i stay sober and focused on my responsibility i will be ok, i cant become cocky or so sure of myself that i won't drink because i will fail , thank god i have the power to turn to others in my life for help should i need it, but for now i can reach within myself and be strong one day at a time and no matter what be true to myself and for that i'm grateful.

I hope this helps !
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 02:40 pm
@9one1,
I think the main reason why alcoholism is classified as a disease has mainly to do with the treatment (e.g. that doctors, hospitals deal with it, that treatment is paid by health insurers etc).

Be it AA or any other self-help group - they support your efforts, they assist you in some was to get and - even more important - to stay sober.
But it's your own and sole decision to drink - or to stay sober. It's helpful to see how other person's life is going on with and without alcohol. But it's your alcoholism you have to deal with, not the one of others.

I think, my excessive drinking started in the Navy, too.
Congratulations for all you did to become the person you're now (again)!
(In January, I'll be 30 years sober.)
9one1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:02 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter god bless your heart buddy , thats so awesome i am amazed with people who are sober that long , like yourself, hell i was 13 when you got sober WOW , thats big stuff, again good for you, i'm grateful i'm able to keep it simple and keep it in the day , but most of all im able to stay sober today , tomorrow is not here yet, however if i keep doing what i'm doing ill be ok, with god on my side i know ill be in even better shape and i know alot of people think there is no such thing as god and thats ok thats their belief , i dont force my beliefs on anyone, i know what i believe and i will stay with that. Thank you Walter for your kind words, you're a good man. Smile
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:11 pm
@Green Witch,
Sorry GW, but because the affliction IS associated with a genetic marker , Id consider it of ORGANIC origins, hence a true "disease"

MY OWN JOURNEY from alcohlism involved several times in dry out tanks, a little bit of social irresponsibility activities BUT NEVER A DUI.
I tried AA but what served me better was making a persona; medical investigation (via newest genetic information) and attempting to dig up the connections that med science now knows. I applied that with some really good counseling (one on one)

It was originally considered a "Behavior" problem but most medical sorts now regard it as an organic illness with strong genetic markers.

I hope I clarified my rambling (I have a habit of just jumping to a conclusion without setting the stairsteps leading to it.)Thats in addition to being spelling and typing challenged.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:15 pm
@9one1,
Sorry if I got rmbly 9, but is AA working? Sometimes a route on your own is more effective. Some people like to "Be incharge" and AA is so submittal oriented that you are always considered to be a "Dry drunk:
Im not an alcoholic when I dont drink and I hose a counelor who had the same outlook as I and together we worked on a whole bunch of us "Type A alcoholics"
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:19 pm
@farmerman,
Okay dokey. Glad you came back to clarify and expand on this.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:25 pm
@Green Witch,
Im a real douche bag for jut writing a post and then laving my friggin phone at home.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 03:26 pm
@9one1,
I'm not sure, if I'm a good man - and that has nothing to do with my alcoholism.

It is totally okay that you look at 'today' and want to stay sober NOW.
But ... after some time, you'll need to look more in advance than just 12, 16 or 24 hours.
I'm sure, YOU can do that.
9one1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Nov, 2012 07:12 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I beg to differ my friend, if you're alcoholic and you're sober it has everything to do with your alcoholism, its never easy getting sober, it certainly wasn't for me, it was a bitch actually, i never found it easy putting the booze down i always fought it tooth and nail until i was so beaten up i had no choice but to give in and surrender otherwise what did i have left besides death , a slow one at that.
0 Replies
 
amygarside
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Nov, 2012 06:35 pm
@9one1,
I think it is more of a behavior problem. Although most would say it is a disease because it has to be treated. I believe that it is easier said than done because if person is not willing to change his habit of drinking hard then it would be hard for doctors to help them get cured.
9one1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Nov, 2012 09:32 pm
@amygarside,
I'm sorry Amy but the disease of alcoholism is centered in the mind ,in no way shape or form is it a "behavior problem " like you mentioned, my god do i wish it was, i would be sipping on an ice cold glass of southern comfort right now, however you are in fact entitled to your opinion , and thats ok. It's not so much about the behavior aspect of drinking ,granted we do choose to drink ,however if you're alcoholic and you pick up a drink and naturally in the grip of the disease its not that simple to just stop because its a "behavior problem" as i mentioned drinking in and of itself is the behavior and its a problem yet it is not even close to what you or what anyone else might say, trust me nothing is ever that simple, nothing.
 

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