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Is addiction a disease?

  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Is addiction a disease?

    • Yes
      5
    • No
      14


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There is a growing body of evidence that the addiction as a disease model is seriously flawed.

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/27/addiction_is_not_a_disease_a_neuroscientist_argues_that_its_time_to_change_our_minds_on_the_roots_of_substance_abuse/ 

 

"As Lewis sees it, addiction really is habit; we just don’t appreciate how deeply habit can be engraved on the brain itself. “Repeated (motivating) experience†— i.e., the sensation of having one’s worries wafted away by the bliss of heroin — “produce brain changes that define future experiences… So getting drunk a lot will sculpt the synapses that determine future drinking patterns.†More and more experiences and activities get looped into the addiction experience and trigger cravings and expectations like the bells that made Pavlov’s dogs salivate, from the walk home past a favorite bar to the rituals of shooting up. The world becomes a host of signs all pointing you in the same direction and activating powerful unconscious urges to follow them. At a certain point, the addictive behavior becomes compulsive, seemingly as irresistibly automatic as a reflex. You may not even want the drug anymore, but you’ve forgotten how to do anything else besides seek it out and take it.

 

Yet all of the addicts Lewis interviewed for “The Biology of Desire†are sober now, some through tried-and-true 12-Step programs, others through self-designed regimens, like the heroin addict who taught herself how to meditate in prison. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a psychologist would argue for some form of talk therapy addressing the underlying emotional motivations for turning to drugs. But Lewis is far from the only expert to voice this opinion or to recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to reshape the brain and redirect its systems into less self-destructive patterns.

 

Without a doubt, AA and similar programs have helped a lot of people. But they’ve also failed others. One size does not fit all, and there’s a growing body of evidence that empowering addicts, rather than insisting that they embrace their powerlessness and the impossibility of ever fully shedding their addiction, can be a road to health as well. If addiction is a form of learning gone tragically wrong, it is also possible that it can be unlearned, that the brain’s native changeability can be set back on track. “Addicts aren’t diseased,†Lewis writes, “and they don’t need medical intervention in order to change their lives. What they need is sensitive, intelligent social scaffolding to hold the pieces of their imagined future in place — while they reach toward it.â€

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No idea! But what I do believe is that a compassionate approach is the way to go with those unfortunate enough to suffer from addictions. Society's judgemental perceptions regarding addicts (particularly those addicted to drugs) need to change.

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I'll agree with that. People often regard addicts as "sub-human" which is pretty cruel if you ask me. The reasons and backstories for people becoming addicts can be very sensitive. For example, depression and domestic abuse etc.

A minority of them do have sad stories to tell but the majority have made lifestyle choices in which they have to pay the consequences for. It's those who I've no time for as they made their bed so to  speak and should expect little sympathy, of course those who've had terrible childhoods, etc, etc are a different matter.

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Me too. Why we treat those addicted to substances so differently to those addicted to money, power and control is beyond me...

 

Agreeing with Nick L and thunderbolt, I mean. :D

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A minority of them do have sad stories to tell but the majority have made lifestyle choices in which they have to pay the consequences for. It's those who I've no time for as they made their bed so to  speak and should expect little sympathy, of course those who've had terrible childhoods, etc, etc are a different matter.

 

So if they genuinely want help to turn their life around we should just let them rot?

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So if they genuinely want help to turn their life around we should just let them rot?

Many don't Nick as I've worked in this field, it's the minority we have to take care off the rest appear to abuse the system to get their fix of Methadone.

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So if they genuinely want help to turn their life around we should just let them rot?

That's generally the way-of-it these days, Nick...

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Some people are more pre-disposed to addictive behavior. Of course environmental factors can effect behaviour, it's very difficult to isolate out different variables.

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Many don't Nick as I've worked in this field, it's the minority we have to take care off the rest appear to abuse the system to get their fix of Methadone.

 

Well that's not what I was getting at. I was asking based on your previous post, that if someone who had made "poor life choices" leading to an addiction then genuinely wanted help to turn their life around, you would refuse that plea?

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Well that's not what I was getting at. I was asking based on your previous post, that if someone who had made "poor life choices" leading to an addiction then genuinely wanted help to turn their life around, you would refuse that plea?

Of course not.

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No, it's not. In no sense of the word. Calling it a disease is not only factually incorrect but it also reduces an addicts responsibility for their illness.

 

Addiction is a horrible, terrible thing, but let's not do a disservice to actual diseases. 

 

It also gives a false impression about treatment. As someone who often works with addicts, you don't go about treating it like a disease either.


Many don't Nick as I've worked in this field, it's the minority we have to take care off the rest appear to abuse the system to get their fix of Methadone.

 

Which you if you work in the field, you should know is kind of part of being an addict. 

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No, it's not. In no sense of the word. Calling it a disease is not only factually incorrect but it also reduces an addicts responsibility for their illness.

 

Addiction is a horrible, terrible thing, but let's not do a disservice to actual diseases. 

 

It also gives a false impression about treatment. As someone who often works with addicts, you don't go about treating it like a disease either.

 

Which you if you work in the field, you should know is kind of part of being an addict. 

 

Very well said.

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No, it's not. In no sense of the word. Calling it a disease is not only factually incorrect but it also reduces an addicts responsibility for their illness.

 

Addiction is a horrible, terrible thing, but let's not do a disservice to actual diseases. 

 

It also gives a false impression about treatment. As someone who often works with addicts, you don't go about treating it like a disease either.

 

Which you if you work in the field, you should know is kind of part of being an addict. 

Indeed they are addicts and most of them the worst possible kind.

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I agree, I guess, that addiction isn't a disease, in the strictest sense; but, once a person has become addicted, surely medical intervention is more advantageous than simply locking them up and throwing away the key?? Perhaps, if drugs were decriminalized and properly controlled, there'd be less incentive for pushers encouraging folks' addiction. Like, no incentive whatsoever?

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I agree, I guess, that addiction isn't a disease, in the strictest sense; but, once a person has become addicted, surely medical intervention is more advantageous than simply locking them up and throwing away the key?? Perhaps, if drugs were decriminalized and properly controlled, there'd be less incentive for pushers encouraging folks' addiction. Like, no incentive whatsoever?

I'm not sure that's the right way forward Ed, though finding a workable alternative isn't that easy. Maybe we could do more with suppliers of these narcotics but where's there's a will there's a way and they'll always find other means of smuggling drugs into the country. Simple answer is , there isn't one.

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I agree, I guess, that addiction isn't a disease, in the strictest sense; but, once a person has become addicted, surely medical intervention is more advantageous than simply locking them up and throwing away the key?? Perhaps, if drugs were decriminalized and properly controlled, there'd be less incentive for pushers encouraging folks' addiction. Like, no incentive whatsoever?

 

 

Addicts generally become addicts because they are trying to medicate a particular problem. The most effective treatment is psychological therapy to deal with the root problem and then a strongly supported abstinence and community programme to deal with the addiction part and rehabilitation to keep them clean.

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isn't everyone of us addicted to something? I am addicted to coffee, fags and worst of all football, my wife thinks I am ill.

 

I guess the purpose of this thread is bad addiction, rather than addiction itself. Then of course the question we have had before, what actually is addiction and is different from a compulsion?

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isn't everyone of us addicted to something? I am addicted to coffee, fags and worst of all football, my wife thinks I am ill.

 

I guess the purpose of this thread is bad addiction, rather than addiction itself. Then of course the question we have had before, what actually is addiction and is different from a compulsion?

Chocolate it is for me. 

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isn't everyone of us addicted to something? I am addicted to coffee, fags and worst of all football, my wife thinks I am ill.

 

I guess the purpose of this thread is bad addiction, rather than addiction itself. Then of course the question we have had before, what actually is addiction and is different from a compulsion?

 

Addiction is when you need something to function and not having control over using it.

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Addiction is when you need something to function and not having control over using it.

True but people can be addicted to anything often it is just associated with drugs and alcohol..people forget about things like being addicted to gambling, shopping, video games even porn that dictate how people live their lives and can destroy a persons personality and life in the same ways as drug abuse or alcoholism.

 

not sure its a disease but im sure some people are genetically wired to be more prone to addiction than others and is often a family trait passed on.

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Good afternoon everyone.

First of all apologies in advance for the length of this posting but unfortunately this is something with which I have some first hand experience.

My mother in law unfortunately died as an indirect result of being an alcoholic and my middle son is a recovering alcoholic.

With my mother in law she was a really kind lady, but in her late 50's she suffered breast cancer and as a result it changed her attitude to life and she became very nervous and took to drinking heavily until it took hold of her completely and took over her life. Her and my father in law had moved to Clacton on his retirement to live by the coast but unfortunately he died only a few years after moving there. Her problem got worse following his death. At the time my wife and I had a young family ranging from 8 to 8 months old when my mother in law died. We did not have room for her to live with us and we lived some 40 miles away from her and so we could not keep an eye on her all of the time. We tried to seek help but very little was available. Her doctor kept encouraging her to stay for short term stays in a care home, which we subsequently found out that he owned. Conflict of interest or what? he had no alternative suggestions to help her with her addiction. One evening she had a fall at home which proved fatal.

Our middle son became addicted to alcohol fairly early on and by the time that he was in his late teens it had really taken hold. We did our absolute best to initially stop him from drinking by discouraging from leaving the house and not allowing alcohol indoors, but it is impossible to oversee someone 24 hours a day.

By his late twenties he had lost his job as an electrician and was drinking 12 or so strong ciders a day and a miniature bottle of vodka and was in such a state that we were advised that his liver was in such a state that he only had a fortnight to live. In desperation as there was no support from his GP we used some of our life savings to fund a 2 week stay at a nearby Priory Rehabilitation Centre at a cost at the time of over £3K. I dread to think how much it is today.

Unfortunately this only provided temporary relief and as the Priory stated he should have stayed in for a minimum of 6 weeks but at the time this was all that we could afford. He was back to drinking heavily, but after a further year of sheer hell for us he decided that he wanted to give up. He tried of his own accord to do so, but unfortunately his withdrawal symptoms resulted in him suffering fits. He tried to seek assistance from his doctor, with my wife accompanying him to the surgery, but the doctor refused to let her go in with my son. The doctor was worse than useless and would not help. After several desperate visits to his GP without any help he became angry and was removed from the practice. He was then without a doctor for 6 weeks, during which time he was still trying to give up and having constant fits. On one occassion my wife and I took him to A & E. there were lots of people waiting to be seen and I explained the situation sand told the receptionist that he was likely to have another fit any minute and her response was that he would have to wait his turn or to take him home and have a few drinks to top up his alcohol level.

This period was the most frightening of our lives as a family and we felt totally on our own.

On the sixth week we were allocated a new doctor and since then we have never looked back. On my son's first visit to the surgery the GP also invited my wife in as he said "everyone is in it together" and that the whole family should be involved in treatment plans etc. The GP treated my son with respect and the medication provided helped stop the fitting and after a few months he was sent to a rehabilitation centre on the NHS to a place called Lampton Court in Bideford. He went down on his birthday on 25 May 2011 and stayed for 3 months and has not touched alcohol since. Shortly after he left the place closed down and so a very useful establishment is no more. We are so grateful to that GP and the Centre for in effect saving him from a living hell and turning his life around.

Going back to the original question as to whether addiction is an illness I contend that it can in some circumstances be. As part of the Priory's help for relations there was a weekly meeting where councilors would hold informal chats with those present. During these discussions the experts stated that some persons had (I believe the term was receptors) a purpencity to become addicts than others and that there was evidence that it could well be hereditary.

There was often several of us in attendance at these meetings and on several occasions a doctor was present whose wife was an alcoholic. He admitted that he had insufficient training to really be of much help to alcoholics that visit his surgery, let alone his own wife.

Things might have changed since 2011, but from my families experience it is very much a matter of pot luck as to whether an alcoholic receives adequate treatment and is not treated like he is a leper. We saw both ends of the spectrum, with woeful help initially and a truly wonderful doctor that saved our family.

Kind Regards

Dave

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True but people can be addicted to anything often it is just associated with drugs and alcohol..people forget about things like being addicted to gambling, shopping, video games even porn that dictate how people live their lives and can destroy a persons personality and life in the same ways as drug abuse or alcoholism.

 

not sure its a disease but im sure some people are genetically wired to be more prone to addiction than others and is often a family trait passed on.

 

You're absolutely right in that you can be addicted to many other things, that goes without saying.

Good afternoon everyone.

First of all apologies in advance for the length of this posting but unfortunately this is something with which I have some first hand experience.

My mother in law unfortunately died as an indirect result of being an alcoholic and my middle son is a recovering alcoholic.

With my mother in law she was a really kind lady, but in her late 50's she suffered breast cancer and as a result it changed her attitude to life and she became very nervous and took to drinking heavily until it took hold of her completely and took over her life. Her and my father in law had moved to Clacton on his retirement to live by the coast but unfortunately he died only a few years after moving there. Her problem got worse following his death. At the time my wife and I had a young family ranging from 8 to 8 months old when my mother in law died. We did not have room for her to live with us and we lived some 40 miles away from her and so we could not keep an eye on her all of the time. We tried to seek help but very little was available. Her doctor kept encouraging her to stay for short term stays in a care home, which we subsequently found out that he owned. Conflict of interest or what? he had no alternative suggestions to help her with her addiction. One evening she had a fall at home which proved fatal.

Our middle son became addicted to alcohol fairly early on and by the time that he was in his late teens it had really taken hold. We did our absolute best to initially stop him from drinking by discouraging from leaving the house and not allowing alcohol indoors, but it is impossible to oversee someone 24 hours a day.

By his late twenties he had lost his job as an electrician and was drinking 12 or so strong ciders a day and a miniature bottle of vodka and was in such a state that we were advised that his liver was in such a state that he only had a fortnight to live. In desperation as there was no support from his GP we used some of our life savings to fund a 2 week stay at a nearby Priory Rehabilitation Centre at a cost at the time of over £3K. I dread to think how much it is today.

Unfortunately this only provided temporary relief and as the Priory stated he should have stayed in for a minimum of 6 weeks but at the time this was all that we could afford. He was back to drinking heavily, but after a further year of sheer hell for us he decided that he wanted to give up. He tried of his own accord to do so, but unfortunately his withdrawal symptoms resulted in him suffering fits. He tried to seek assistance from his doctor, with my wife accompanying him to the surgery, but the doctor refused to let her go in with my son. The doctor was worse than useless and would not help. After several desperate visits to his GP without any help he became angry and was removed from the practice. He was then without a doctor for 6 weeks, during which time he was still trying to give up and having constant fits. On one occassion my wife and I took him to A & E. there were lots of people waiting to be seen and I explained the situation sand told the receptionist that he was likely to have another fit any minute and her response was that he would have to wait his turn or to take him home and have a few drinks to top up his alcohol level.

This period was the most frightening of our lives as a family and we felt totally on our own.

On the sixth week we were allocated a new doctor and since then we have never looked back. On my son's first visit to the surgery the GP also invited my wife in as he said "everyone is in it together" and that the whole family should be involved in treatment plans etc. The GP treated my son with respect and the medication provided helped stop the fitting and after a few months he was sent to a rehabilitation centre on the NHS to a place called Lampton Court in Bideford. He went down on his birthday on 25 May 2011 and stayed for 3 months and has not touched alcohol since. Shortly after he left the place closed down and so a very useful establishment is no more. We are so grateful to that GP and the Centre for in effect saving him from a living hell and turning his life around.

Going back to the original question as to whether addiction is an illness I contend that it can in some circumstances be. As part of the Priory's help for relations there was a weekly meeting where councilors would hold informal chats with those present. During these discussions the experts stated that some persons had (I believe the term was receptors) a purpencity to become addicts than others and that there was evidence that it could well be hereditary.

There was often several of us in attendance at these meetings and on several occasions a doctor was present whose wife was an alcoholic. He admitted that he had insufficient training to really be of much help to alcoholics that visit his surgery, let alone his own wife.

Things might have changed since 2011, but from my families experience it is very much a matter of pot luck as to whether an alcoholic receives adequate treatment and is not treated like he is a leper. We saw both ends of the spectrum, with woeful help initially and a truly wonderful doctor that saved our family.

Kind Regards

Dave

 

I'm sorry to hear this Dave and I am glad your son was saved and wish you all the best. You're right in that it really can be pot luck as to what help you receive and even when you receive it, it can be terrible or it can be the best thing you've ever done. The addict wanting to get better is the key, unless they want to get better you can give them the best help in the world, but it won't work.

 

In relation to it being hereditary. There is evidence that biologically we can pass on a susceptibility to addiction, just like we pass on a susceptibility to mental illness, but behaviour plays a huge role. A child growing up with an actively addict parent is many, many more times likely to be an addict themselves than a child who has grown up with a recovered addict despite both being born from parents who have the biological susceptibility. It never ceases to amaze me how much we pic up and witness as kids effects who we are as adults.

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Good afternoon everyone.

First of all apologies in advance for the length of this posting but unfortunately this is something with which I have some first hand experience.

My mother in law unfortunately died as an indirect result of being an alcoholic and my middle son is a recovering alcoholic.

With my mother in law she was a really kind lady, but in her late 50's she suffered breast cancer and as a result it changed her attitude to life and she became very nervous and took to drinking heavily until it took hold of her completely and took over her life. Her and my father in law had moved to Clacton on his retirement to live by the coast but unfortunately he died only a few years after moving there. Her problem got worse following his death. At the time my wife and I had a young family ranging from 8 to 8 months old when my mother in law died. We did not have room for her to live with us and we lived some 40 miles away from her and so we could not keep an eye on her all of the time. We tried to seek help but very little was available. Her doctor kept encouraging her to stay for short term stays in a care home, which we subsequently found out that he owned. Conflict of interest or what? he had no alternative suggestions to help her with her addiction. One evening she had a fall at home which proved fatal.

Our middle son became addicted to alcohol fairly early on and by the time that he was in his late teens it had really taken hold. We did our absolute best to initially stop him from drinking by discouraging from leaving the house and not allowing alcohol indoors, but it is impossible to oversee someone 24 hours a day.

By his late twenties he had lost his job as an electrician and was drinking 12 or so strong ciders a day and a miniature bottle of vodka and was in such a state that we were advised that his liver was in such a state that he only had a fortnight to live. In desperation as there was no support from his GP we used some of our life savings to fund a 2 week stay at a nearby Priory Rehabilitation Centre at a cost at the time of over £3K. I dread to think how much it is today.

Unfortunately this only provided temporary relief and as the Priory stated he should have stayed in for a minimum of 6 weeks but at the time this was all that we could afford. He was back to drinking heavily, but after a further year of sheer hell for us he decided that he wanted to give up. He tried of his own accord to do so, but unfortunately his withdrawal symptoms resulted in him suffering fits. He tried to seek assistance from his doctor, with my wife accompanying him to the surgery, but the doctor refused to let her go in with my son. The doctor was worse than useless and would not help. After several desperate visits to his GP without any help he became angry and was removed from the practice. He was then without a doctor for 6 weeks, during which time he was still trying to give up and having constant fits. On one occassion my wife and I took him to A & E. there were lots of people waiting to be seen and I explained the situation sand told the receptionist that he was likely to have another fit any minute and her response was that he would have to wait his turn or to take him home and have a few drinks to top up his alcohol level.

This period was the most frightening of our lives as a family and we felt totally on our own.

On the sixth week we were allocated a new doctor and since then we have never looked back. On my son's first visit to the surgery the GP also invited my wife in as he said "everyone is in it together" and that the whole family should be involved in treatment plans etc. The GP treated my son with respect and the medication provided helped stop the fitting and after a few months he was sent to a rehabilitation centre on the NHS to a place called Lampton Court in Bideford. He went down on his birthday on 25 May 2011 and stayed for 3 months and has not touched alcohol since. Shortly after he left the place closed down and so a very useful establishment is no more. We are so grateful to that GP and the Centre for in effect saving him from a living hell and turning his life around.

Going back to the original question as to whether addiction is an illness I contend that it can in some circumstances be. As part of the Priory's help for relations there was a weekly meeting where councilors would hold informal chats with those present. During these discussions the experts stated that some persons had (I believe the term was receptors) a purpencity to become addicts than others and that there was evidence that it could well be hereditary.

There was often several of us in attendance at these meetings and on several occasions a doctor was present whose wife was an alcoholic. He admitted that he had insufficient training to really be of much help to alcoholics that visit his surgery, let alone his own wife.

Things might have changed since 2011, but from my families experience it is very much a matter of pot luck as to whether an alcoholic receives adequate treatment and is not treated like he is a leper. We saw both ends of the spectrum, with woeful help initially and a truly wonderful doctor that saved our family.

Kind Regards

Dave

Good insight on dealing with alcoholism Dave,

My father was an alcoholic and it destroyed our family..unlike your son my father refused to admit he had a problem..and lost his job and dignity and ended up living in a bedsit and then wardened accommodation..it took a massive stroke and three brain operations at the age of 77 to get him clean due to an enforced stay in hospital where there was expectation he would not recover from his stroke but he did remarkably..however once he returned home after 4 months in hospital and rehab for his stroke and not his alcoholism he resumed the drinking..it took a fall and a broken hip for him to stop due to him being house bound and somehow some way he saw the light at the age of 81..he is now 83 and is the man I remember as a small boy again..but essentially I was robbed of my father for nearly 40 years.

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Thank you Lauren for your kind words.

I think that you are right about what children "pick up". My son had to witness things when he was young with respect to my mother in law, which he should not have had to, but we had little choice as we could not just abandon her and it was difficult to have anyone else to continually look after our children whilst we visited her.

Kind regards

Dave

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For a while I served on the county drug squad as a detective - during the course of this I learned that there are basically two types of addiction.

 

The first is a physical dependency and this is such that the body needs to have continual top ups of the drug or alcohol to continue to function effectively. This is most common in those addicted to such drugs as heroin where the sudden withdrawal of the drug causes people to 'cold turkey'. This can also happen in the case of heavy drinkers who drink to the extent that their bodies depend on getting continual supplies of alcohol just to continue to act normally.

 

In order to treat these people they need to be weaned off the drug gradually. In the case of heroin addicts a substitute drug called methadone, it is not so strong as heroin and less habit forming.

 

The second form of addiction is the psychological addiction and here people can get addicted to almost anything to the extent it becomes so much of a habit that they rely on it, sometimes quite heavily and can range from smoking, drinking, compulsive cleaning and theft where people become kleptomaniacs. 

 

As a smoker myself I know how powerful the habit can be but at the same as with most of us this day and age, there are circumstances where we are unable to smoke, the most common one for me being a number of hours between entry into departures at an airport, the flight and exit via arrivals at the other end. It is a situation where I simply cannot smoke and it has to be accepted. Apart from the occasional wish for a smoke it does not affect me adversely and I know that if I can manage without for a few hours like that I could stop altogether. It's just that I enjoy my pipe so much.

 

Also at times during my life I was a moderate to heavy drinker and quite honestly had a lot of experience on both sides of this fence but in some ways fortunate inasmuch as if I reached a certain stage my stomach would rebel and this always stopped me from drinking copiously - so in this respect I was fortunate. I was following a career where many who were involved would become alcoholic, some to the extent that it ruined their careers in one form or another and very often their home lives with many coming to any early end to their lives. In the first stages it is merely a habit and it helped as an escape from the various stresses we were under and helped towards camaraderie and bonding together as a team but somewhere along the line with some the psychological dependency became a physical dependency and without continual inputs of alcohol people were not able to function the same. 

 

One chap I knew got to that stage and ended up ending his career early and having his driving licence suspended for medical reasons. He was able to stop drinking altogether for a while and held down a job after retirement and appeared to be on the way to recovery. He started another job with real interest with prospects in a field which he could do well. By this time I had also retired and he did not yet have his driving licence back and asked me to drive him into London to make an enquiry. On the way back he said he wanted to visit a pub - I wasn't sure that this was a good idea and told him so but he insisted that he could have a drink and leave it alone - so we stopped and he had a few beers, I did not have much at all and had some difficulty in extricating him from the premises. That was the last I heard of him for a while and the next thing I heard he had returned to the demon drink and lost this quite promising job as a consequence. He moved out of the area and I haven't heard of or from him since.

 

Meanwhile my drinking caused my weight to rise quite considerably until a stage where I was prescribed the particular antibiotics which do not mix well with alcohol, so I stopped drinking for the duration of that treatment and found it was not hard. Since then I have cut down my drinking drastically, sometimes going for months without and achieved quite a reasonable weight loss.

 

A number of other friends have also been addicted, a couple to the extent of having liver transplants. I would have thought that drinking to the extent of having to have a liver transplant would be sufficient to put them off for life but no - it seems little by little they get back to it so they end up in the same position as they were before, hence the tragic tale of George Best.

 

Alcoholism, it seems is one of those conditions where the last person to admit that they are an alcoholic is the alcoholic themselves - they continually convince themselves that they are normal and that they can handle their drinking despite what friends, loved ones and experts in the field tell them. 

 

Unless they can get a real grip on reality they continue to delude themselves and end up drinking themselves into an early grave.

 

I am convinced that some people are more prone to addictions than others. In some cases it appears to be heredity i.e. nature, in other cases nurture and in some cases a mixture of the two. Generally when people become addicted to something, whether it be drink, drugs or gambling they appear to be unable to control it, the normal processes of thought do not function properly and far too often they do not realise the harm they are doing to themselves and others until it is too late and as demonstrated on this thread they need expert help in order to recover from their problem, so this being the case I would describe it as a disease requiring medical attention, the problem being that in normal cases of disease people are normally compliant with the treatment being provided whilst in cases of addictions it is difficult to treat until such time as the addict genuinely accepts his condition and not all of them do.  

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