I know I'm going to get many people disagreeing with me when I say I do not believe alcoholism is a disease. AA tells us it's a disease. Most books on alcoholism tell us alcoholism is a disease. Another common phrase is that we're powerless over alcohol. Now that may be true. But does that make it a disease? I think not.
I consider a disease something we get in the form of a sickness that we can not do anything about. It was not our choice to get the disease. Drinking alcohol is a choice. We pick up a drink and drink it. If we're an alcoholic we know we should not pick up the drink because our bodies do not handle alcohol in the same way as someone who does not have the alcoholic trait. But to call alcoholism a disease is not correct.
According to Mirriam-Webster the definition of alcoholism is "a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction." Yes, that I agree with. This is the definition of what alcoholism really is. I think the reason why so many people like using the term "disease" is that that it lets them off the hook. Think about it. If I say I have a disease I'm not responsible for drinking too much at times or ruining the dinner party because I drank too much and started telling everyone what I really thought of them. No, it's not my fault. I HAVE A DISEASE. I get sympathetic too when it's a disease. If everyone thinks I have a disease I'll get some slack. I get NO sympathy if I drink too much, drive drunk and crash the car and say "I'm sorry, I drank compulsively because I have a chronic disorder."
I say let's call alcoholism what it really is. And it's not a disease.
Source by Linda Joy Allan