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is alcoholism a disease or an addiction?

my hubby and i debate this issue all the time! also,is it hereditary?


Asked by pinkclover at 11:15 PM on Nov. 11, 2008 in Just for Fun

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Answers (12)
  • Wow, I have never heard so many women in one place that have NO clue as to what the hell they are talking about! In 1956 after extensive  research,alcoholism began being listed as a disease in every Medical paper and Medical Book. Self inflicted?Cancer is self inflicted also, Diabetes also. Are these not diseases? Of course they are. NO alcoholic WANTS to lose everything.It has NOTHING to do with willpower! Try getting rid of a tumor with willpower. Or diarrhea (Chrohns Disease) Please be informed before you judge


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:28 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • it is a addiction that can cause a disease... It is hereditary but its not.. its not in your DNA that you will be a alcoholic but if you are raised a certain way you will be more like to became one.


    Answer by robinalbright at 11:17 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • OK let me try to explain it from my mother's view point (substance abuse counselor & addict herself)

    Addiction is a disease. You can't cure it but you can treat it. You can treat it with drugs and counseling like you would a mental disorder or other sickness. The reason it can't be cured is because the "want" is always there. You just have to learn to ignore it.

    The hereditary part is questionable though. Is it a gene that runs in the family or is it just something learned. Like if your Grandfather was an alcoholic, and your father was, and you are. Is it because you each learned it from the other. "Well it fixed their problems, maybe it will fix mine" kind of theory.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:19 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • did that make sense? LOL I wish mom was awake to get her to explain it better...

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:20 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • I know it's a disease. Growing up with a father who was an alcoholic. My grandmother on my fathers side was an alcoholic she did of serous es of the liver. She had tons of kids of which 6 are alcoholics. My uncle and dad died of the same thing.  My father was 52 years old.  He was a good man hard working and he always provided for the family, but he had that disease he could not cure.  I love my dad and he was the world to me.  I am the oldest of 7 and we witnessed all his drinking that in all honesty none of us drink or smoke.  So it may be hereditary but you choose your destiny and you don't let alcoholism choose you.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:33 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • I believe it's a disease. And although I don't believe that it can be inherited, I definitely believe the tendency is greater.

    Answer by TeeJai at 11:50 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • as a psychology major, I have written paper after paper on the topic of addiction. My theory is that alcoholism is a DISORDER not a disease. From what I have studied, a disease is a condition brought on by environment or genetics. It is unavoidable and sometimes treatable/curable. There was probably nothing an individual can do to prevent a true disease.

    Alcoholism is too often self-inflicted and passed on to future generations through example. I have several alcoholics in my family and while some offspring have adopted their parent's disorder, there are a significant number of cousins in my family who decided to go the other way and avoid the problem. Was this just a choice or do they fight an addiction every day? It is debatable.


    Answer by MammaMia72 at 11:55 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • continued...
    Bottom line is. I don't believe for one second that alcoholism is the same as cancer or brain disease. Because it can be self-inflicted, I do not support funding for its "cure". The same thing goes for obesity. There are cessation programs and other routes to take to help an addict get healthy. Most diseases must be treated and/or eliminated in order for a person to regain health...if it happens at all.

    Answer by MammaMia72 at 11:55 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • It is both, Most alcoholics have children that r alcoholics which makes it a disease, but some people crave the taste of alcohol which is the addicition, My dad was/is an alcoholic and when we were younger we had to go to counseling and they explaned that it starts with the addicition and ends with the disease

    Answer by supermomof924 at 12:27 AM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • Disease. And to answer to those who say it can't be a disease because some family members "have" it and some don't, I believe it's kind of like an allergy (except the opposite extreme, of course!) If you never come in contact with it, you'll never know if you are allergic to it. Some family members have a milder reaction, some have a more serious reaction. It may not fit all the technical requirements to be classified as a disease, and there may not be a "cure", but for far too many people suffering with it, it is NOT a choice. I don't believe it is hereditary per se, but I don't think anyone can deny that vulnerability to addiction runs in families.

    Answer by crazywith4 at 12:27 AM on Nov. 12, 2008