The disease of alcoholism
by Ned Wicker
Admitting that alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a disease seems trite on the surface, but people look at alcoholism differently than they view heart disease, or cancer, or the common cold. Like many of these diseases there is no cure for alcoholism. There is always blame attached to alcoholism. There is always an accusatory finger to be pointed at the one who suffers from alcoholism.
Most blame the alcoholic
Many in our society claim that the alcoholic is entirely to blame for their alcoholism. There is not the same kind of sympathy for drug alcoholics that there is for smokers with cancer, or people with diabetes and heart disease. They are not viewed as people suffering from a disease.
The reasoning for people not being sympathetic to the alcoholic is simple. People get hooked because they chose to drink in the first place. The average person sees it that way and he can take the moral high ground because he didn’t take drugs and somebody else did.
Maybe John Q. took the drink but didn’t get hooked. People seeking a thrill might try a street drug like crack cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin because of the “rush,” the “high” they produce and chronic users are those who have developed a need far beyond merely wanting a thrill.
No one choices it!
Prescription medications that are abused, such as OxyContin, are coveted because the effect is intense and even greater than the heroin they get on the street. Even if they don’t want a thrill, people can still become addicted to prescription medications just because they take more than the prescribed amount to feel better. In either case, nobody asked to have their life destroyed.
It may start innocently enough, but it gets out of control. What started as a lark ends up as an albatross around their neck that they are for the most part powerless to control. It hangs there and the user can’t get rid of it. Regardless of how the dependence started, the person is no longer in control and cannot break free of the disease’s power.
Nothing tells them to stop
People may have a few drinks, or enjoy a couple of trips to the buffet table, but sooner or later their body says it’s time to stop. With the alcoholic, that “thing” that says stop isn’t there. They don’t get enough and continue, even long after another person has stopped. It’s the inability to stop that causes so much pain and suffering.
Whatever the drug of choice, intervention and treatment are necessary for the alcoholic to return to a healthy lifestyle. The problem for the alcoholic is that society has attached a stigma to the disease.
Bad people are drug addicts and alcoholics. Weak people are drug addicts and alcoholics. Undesirable people are drug addicts and alcoholics. No, people become alcoholics; good people, nice people. The well-educated, the blue collar, the rich, the poor, all colors and types are all potential alcoholics. They can all contract the disease. No one is exempt and the is no cure for alcoholism.
There is treatment and please go to the treatment section of this site to find out more!