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Old 01-02-2014, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
Again, don't hate me but I also don't view it as an illness (please don't take offense, I'm just sharing my personal view.) If all a cancer patient had to do was stop buying cancer at the cancer store, they would do it. That's just how I feel though.
Your opinion is shared with the majority of doctors in the U.S..
Stung, what is addiction then? Is it a "bad habit" like biting nails? Do people who abuse alcohol want to destroy their lives? Do they want to end up in prison or the insane asylem??
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:54 PM
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Upset, I think it's a symptom of something bigger. I personally associate it with extreme morning sickness that some pregnant women get. It's something that threatens your overall well being but its not the root problem. My husband's problem isn't that he's an alcoholic, he has some other problem that he's trying to treat with alcohol. The alcohol has now become a secondary problem and I'm only privy to that one because we have children together and were living together.

Again, these are only *my* opinions, they're not backed up by research or anything else. That's how I feel based on what I've learned this far.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:55 PM
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we are ashamed of alcoholics because society does not view it as a true illness. Many medical professionals will say it is but believe otherwise. The court system treats it as a crime and not a illness.
Actually, my experience has been the exact opposite -- that the court system views alcoholism as a disease. To the point where spouses of alcoholics are now ordered to continue supporting alcoholics financially after a divorce because they are sick and can't be expected to support themselves...

What I'm wondering is why a friend can tell me that her husband beats the crap out of her and calls his own children names -- but somehow, telling me he's a drunk is worse? That's the part I don't get. I have a lot of sympathy for an addict. I have zero sympathy for an abusive jerk.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:56 PM
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My ex is at the end of his liver disease, he's in and out of the hospital with internal bleeding from all the alcohol. He's thin, sick, depressed and never feels any sense of well being. If all it took was will power not to go and buy more alcohol there would be no alcoholics. So, I believe it is a disease but they can also get treatment for it.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:56 PM
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As for "alcoholism is not a disease" -- I'll just share this image that's been shared here before.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:57 PM
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I don't know that I ever felt ashamed per say that he was living with an addiction.

I did take a long time to come around that I had a loved one with problem drinking. For me it was MY IDEA of what alcohol addiction looked like that I had so wrong.

He worked, he did not get bad with drinking every time he drank.....the problem must be in my head.
This for me too
In the summer I just thought "he liked his beer"...hmm I knew he drank too much but it wasn't really a problem
By September I knew there was a problem because he was failing at attempts to stop.
By October I recognized it for what it was and was getting ready to leave
By November I had started my AlAnon journey
In December he decided to get sober and has been at daily AA for four weeks.
It feels like Solomon Grundy. Goodness knows what January will bring.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:39 PM
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I go back to my theory. Not all drinkers are narcissistic asses, just lots of narcissistic asses love to drink. It is a personality that is prone to addiction in my opinion.

That being said, for me, the narcissistic man that I married was there before the alcohol, I just had on the blinders and did not realize it. I do believe alcoholism is a disease. I do not believe it is an EXCUSE to treat people badly, say crap things and expect your spouse and people around you to excuse it, or any of those other crappy things. My AH was taught right from wrong. He still knows right from wrong. He still chooses wrong...alot. I don't just mean by choosing alcohol. I mean being a pessemist, by saying crappy things, talking negative about people, the list goes on and on. We are not compatable any longer.

Thanks for letting me ramble on in my thoughts on this.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:54 PM
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lillamy, the court systems goal is to punish and destroy lives. My son wasn't told he had the disease of addiction but that he was a convict. I think alcoholism is a spiritual disease, however, the stigma of addiction still exists even in my church. I've seen admitting to a DUI is very frowned upon by my co-workers.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
Again, don't hate me but I also don't view it as an illness (please don't take offense, I'm just sharing my personal view.) If all a cancer patient had to do was stop buying cancer at the cancer store, they would do it. That's just how I feel though.
I get what you are saying & had the same opinion for a long time.

I realized though, that no cancer patient deals with an inner voice urging them to buy more cancer, convincing them that cancer will make their life better. There is no dichotomy inside a cancer patient's mind rationalizing to them that they NEED it. It also took me a while to understand that this Voice doesn't always exist from the first-ever drink taken, that it grows in strength internally behind the scenes just feeding off the addict's intake & growing.... only speaking up when it is threatened, making it very difficult to differentiate from their "regular" inner voice.

If that person never picks up their first drink, this part of themselves may never become activated. But if they start drinking socially then increase their volume along with their stress it seems to become a chicken & egg thing - it no longer matters which came first or why.

Alcoholism would seem to fall more on the mental health spectrum of disorders than a physical disease. If you think about it in terms of bipolar or similar disorders, it is more comparable IMO.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:11 PM
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Upset, the court's job is to hold us accountable for illegal acts we commit, not to diagnose and treat us for our addictions or illnesses. With the exception of mental insanity, those with mental disorders are still held accountable for their criminal acts. I can assure you the prisons are filled with people suffering from various mental illnesses.

I know there are many things that need to be reformed with the justice system, but ultimately, if someone commits a crime, it is that person's fault he/she ends up incarcerated and it's that person's responsibility to seek help changing his/her behavior.

FWIW, my older brother spent 10 years in prison for armed robbery (he was armed with a water gun, his buddy had a real gun.) We have different fathers. My brother was physically abused (thrown through a window as a toddler as an example.) My brother was an angry, screwed up man who abused alcohol. He chose change in prison. Now, he's a husband, father, prison chaplain. The key to his transformation is that he wanted it.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FireSprite;4383360
I realized though, that no cancer patient deals with an inner voice urging them to buy more cancer, convincing them that cancer will make their life better. There is no dichotomy inside a cancer patient's mind rationalizing to them that they NEED it. [I
It also took me a while to understand that this Voice doesn't always exist from the first-ever drink taken, that it grows in strength internally behind the scenes just feeding off the addict's intake & growing.... only speaking up when it is threatened, making it very difficult to differentiate from their "regular" inner voice. [/I]

If that person never picks up their first drink, this part of themselves may never become activated. But if they start drinking socially then increase their volume along with their stress it seems to become a chicken & egg thing - it no longer matters which came first or why.
Firesprite, I can relate to this. My father is an alcoholic. I started drinking my senior year in high school. At the beginning of my senior year, it was binge drinking once or twice a month. By the time I graduated, it was binge drinking more days than not. Going away to college actually decreased my drinking because initially, I had less access to alcohol. I recognize my own tendency towards addiction. I have no problem abstaining... it's when I choose to drink that I have trouble stopping. That's why I drink very, very rarely. My sister rarely drinks for the exact same reason. I have no doubt some of us are wired with a tendency towards addiction.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:27 PM
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lillamy, the court systems goal is to punish and destroy lives.
That is an offensive and untrue statement.

Like you, I came to the United States from a politically oppressive country where the justice system is a bad joke.

Our American court system is not perfect, but there is not a better one in the world. I for one am incredibly grateful to be allowed to live and work in this country, and I have a very hard time understanding how you can spew such venom against a country that took you in and adopted you and your children when you needed a place to be safe.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:34 PM
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Well I do agree with this:

Alcoholism would seem to fall more on the mental health spectrum of disorders than a physical disease. If you think about it in terms of bipolar or similar disorders, it is more comparable IMO.

I think it's hard for me to label it a "disease" because from my own perspective, its something that you're doing to yourself and if you have NO money then the part of the disease that's killing you is no longer available. That voice may still be there in full effect but the poison is gone. I can agree that it's a mental health disorder like being bipolar or having clinical depression.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:42 PM
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lillamy, I sometimes think of returning to my home country. America has the one of the highest rates of prisoners in the entire world. The American prison system is meant to provide jobs and generate revenue. My son lives in harsh conditions and no one ever tried to help him with addiction. The scary part is that I know my son will be free one day and could live in a community near you.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:42 PM
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I thought my husband had suddenly become a bipolar schizophrenic with rage attacks before he told me he was an alcoholic. Once he told me he was, everything suddenly made sense.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Upsetnneedhelp View Post
lillamy, I sometimes think of returning to my home country. America has the one of the highest rates of prisoners in the entire world. The American prison system is meant to provide jobs and generate revenue. My son lives in harsh conditions and no one ever tried to help him with addiction. The scary part is that I know my son will be free one day and could live in a community near you.
Upset, as respectfully as possible, may I suggest to you that prisons are harsh for a reason? It's the same as enabling our A's in our homes. The more we give them, take care of them, provide them with a soft place to land, the less likely they are to need to seek help. It's only when they are exposed to the reality of their addictions that they seek help. If prisons were resort-like, there would be less incentive to avoid them.

I will agree that access to decent medical treatment including for mental health and addictions could use some improvement. And, I'm not a fan of solitary confinement (and definitely not long-term.)
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:56 PM
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Upset,

You have tried to help you son with addiction. Didn't work. It is your son's responsibility to help himself get recovery or not. There in no one who will swoop in and do that for him, or could do that for him.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Stung View Post
That voice may still be there in full effect but the poison is gone.
And see, I think it's the opposite... The Voice IS the poison, the alcohol is just the tool. That's why so many addicts have cross addictions to other drugs, food, sex, gambling, etc.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JustAGirl1971 View Post
I will agree that access to decent medical treatment including for mental health and addictions could use some improvement. And, I'm not a fan of solitary confinement (and definitely not long-term.)
There is currently a class action law suit against my sons prison for solitary confinement. It will take a while but hoping my son gets some money from it. The bottom line is that if the prison system worked 80% of parolees would not return to prison.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Upsetnneedhelp View Post
There is currently a class action law suit against my sons prison for solitary confinement. It will take a while but hoping my son gets some money from it. The bottom line is that if the prison system worked 80% of parolees would not return to prison.
I'm as far from an expert as you can get on this subject, upset; however, I do know that the national recidivism rates I've seen are much lower than 80%. Of course, some states have higher rates than others, and many countries do have lower rates than the US. But simply comparing recidivism and incarceration rates between countries is like comparing apples to oranges because of the differences in policies in various countries (gun control just to name one.) There is definitely always room for improvement. Conditions are worse here than in some countries but better than in others. The fact remains though that some people do come out the other side (like my brother.)
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