top-rated free essay

Alcoholism a Disease or Choice

By krachh19 Apr 11, 2013 635 Words
addiction to alcohol in which people continue to drink even though the drinking causes physical, mental and social problems, including problems with job responsibilities and relationships, according to the National Institutes of Health. As is the case with other addictions, alcoholism is considered a disease by many in the medical community, including the American Medical Association. A drawback to framing alcoholism as a disease is that we tend to think of diseases as something that needs to be diagnosed by a professional, Young said. However, physicians often only meet with patients for a short time and cannot possibility have the same insight into an individual's habits as she herself. 1. Don't miss these Health stories

1. US races to make bird flu vaccine – just in case Less than two weeks after Chinese officials released the genetic sequence of a new type of bird flu, U.S. vaccine experts are well on the way to making a vaccine to protect people against it. 2. 1 in 4 skin cancer survivors skips sunscreen, study finds 3. A few see music all around them (literally)

4. 'Bad Picture Monday': Unflattering pics spur movement 5. ADHD diagnosis in kids can spotlight parents' own condition "I know of addicts who have been able to get a professional to tell them they are not addicted," and then use that as justification to continue their excessive drinking, Young said. The disease model also gives the false impression that alcoholism is solely a biological disorder, Young said, leading some researchers tend to adopt a narrow view, focusing on particular chemicals or brain cells that might be involved. "We tend to look at smaller and smaller parts of the human body, and the human mind and the human brain," to find the cause of something, Young said. In doing so, we lose sight of the bigger picture, including social and cultural influences that may play a role in alcoholism development. Factors including who you spend time with, how many liquor stores are near you and your religious affiliation all are linked with how much you drink, Young said. Solutions

Young said he prefers to use the word "allergy" to describe alcoholism. "It is less threatening to consider the idea that one might have an allergy than to consider the idea that one might be permanently diseased," Young said. "With alcoholism, there's a dichotomy — you either are [an alcoholic] or you're not. And that sort of marks you as an individual — you're either normal or you're deviant." Young said. "With allergies, the deviance is much less significant." In addition, drinkers should not feel they have to leave their diagnosis to a physician. People should give weight to their own experiences, including what they perceive their drinking is doing to their lives, Young said. Advertise | AdChoices

Advertise | AdChoices
Advertise | AdChoices
Other experts point out that the problem of disease stigmatization or identity crisis is not unique to alcoholism. "It really doesn't matter what illness you have; people have a sense of loss," said Dr. Ihsan Salloum, chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug abuse at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; who also called the Young's article "more philosophical than scientific." The disease model has helped us understand alcoholism and develop drugs for the condition, Salloum said. However, Salloum agreed there is a need to take into account subjectivity when diagnosing and treating the condition. "When somebody is suffering, it's not only the organ that's suffering, it's the whole person," Salloum said. If doctors want to help patients accept their diagnosis as an alcoholic, they should work to understand how the patient is processing what's happening to him or her, Salloum said. Pass it on: Viewing alcoholism as a disease may create problems in terms of diagnosing, treating and understanding the condition.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Alcoholism: Disease or Choice?

    ...Alcoholism: Disease or Choice? Danielle M Ellis WVNCC Abstract Webster’s New World Dictionary defines alcoholism as a chronic condition which is mainly characterized by excessive and compulsive consumption of and dependence on alcohol as well as nutritional and mental disorders. This definition depicts alcoholism as a disease that...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism a Disease

    ...Jackie Cole Professor Franco English Comp II 14 June 2011 Alcoholism a Disease Alcoholism is an extremely dangerous disease that has a way of manipulating anyone who allows it to consume them by turning their life around like a merry-go-round, resulting in problems within their home, school, work, and social relationships. Alcoholism ha...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism is a Disease

    ...Eng. 101 Alcoholism is a Disease In the U.S alone over 15 million people are currently affected by alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect ...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism as a Disease or a Cognitive Behavior

    ...Alcoholism as a Disease or a Cognitive Behavior Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is the leading juggernaut in information and ideas formulated concerning alcoholism and what it is considered. The popular belief for roughly the past 200 years has been that alcoholism is a disease. Many non-conformist religious personalities and doctors believe, howe...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism: a Family Disease

    ... Alcoholism: A Family Disease Today, over 76 million American adults have been exposed to alcoholism in the family, and it is responsible for more family problems than any other single cause (Parsons).  Alcoholism does not just take over the life of the alcoholic, but also the lives of the family. Every family member is affected differently, ...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism: Family Disease

    ...Alcoholism Affects The Entire Family When one thinks of alcoholism, we initially think of the alcoholic. We think of the tragic consequences of alcohol abuse on the abuser, his community, and society. What isn’t always apparent, however, is how alcoholism affects the entire family. In this paper I will illustrate how families in alcoholic...

    Read More
  • Alcoholism Is a Disease Essay 2

    ...Alcoholism is a disease that can be treated, but through research. I have found that there is no cure for the disease. I t is noted that nearly 14 million people in the U.S. (7.4 % of Americans) abuse alcohol or are alcoholics (Dorsey, Larson, Segal1). Severe alcoholism can also lead to organ damage such as cirrhosis of liver, epilepsy, and gast...

    Read More
  • Drug Addiction Disease or Choice?

    ...Check Point: Rough Draft of Research Paper Research Writing / COM220 Adam Meehan Madeline Chavez October 13, 2010 Drug ad...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.