Thursday, April 8, 2010

Addiction and choice, part 2

If you've read the post from a few weeks ago about whether addicts have a choice in their behavior, you might be interested in this rebuttal and the original author's response, which gets surprisingly personal.

Speaking of personal, the commenters over here unflinchingly give us some snapshots of their experiences. Here are a few that stood out:

Michael said...

I stopped drinking 20 years ago because I am/was addicted to alcohol. I doubt seriously that alcoholism is a "disease" but I do not doubt that if you quit drinking the desire to drink will go away. Give a monkey a number of drinks every day and the monkey will become addicted to alcohol. Not because he didn't get enough bananas when a baby and not because he had a bad home life but because he drank too much alcohol with too much regularity. Our therapeutic culture has transformed a fairly simple solution (quit drinking) into a very complicated solution(quite drinking after you find out why you drink). I commend to all Theodore Dalrymple's book "Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy" which supports the view that the industry built around "recovery" is very invested in the notion that addictions to drugs and alcohol are nearly impossible to overcome without the help of therapy, medical supervision, etc.

themightypuck said...

I've gotten off heroin and pain meds and it was never a problem. The hardest drug for me to quit was crystal meth but I got off that as well. The most painful drug for me to quit was xanax which I had taken daily for 8 years as prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate health reason. That was hell for 3 days and dysfunction for 3 months. The only drug I have been unable to quit is alcohol and for the most part I don't abuse it (although I bet I'd live longer if it were illegal).

David said...

I learned about alcoholism up close and personal through by beloved but alcoholic second wife.

The argument about whether it's a disease is all semantics. If it's a disease, it's a treatable disease. The treatment is to stop drinking. There are lots of ways the treatment can fail, but unlike in other diseases, the treatment is ultimately in the hands of the patient.

RIP Sally.