The more I listen to what the DC (Disease Concept) people have to say about the issue, the more I agree with them.
The more I listen to the DC critics, the more I think they're just a bunch of h8ers... aka anti/XAers.
I disagree with some of the precepts of the DC and how they are presented. Bill Wilson, would be a critic of the disease concept, but wouldn't go so far as to make these claims made by DC critics;
- Drinking for the alcoholic is a choice
- The term "alcoholic" is bullshit to begin with
- Anybody can quit drinking by just stopping and it's safer to moderate for most drinkers
- A.A. is a religious cult and is scientifically indefensible
- DC advocates strip the alcohol abuser of responsibility and freedom
- The DC model does not work and is harmful for hard drinkers and communities
- DC misappropriates public resources in the area of research
- There is no physical component to chronic drinking but is rather a symptom of an underlying emotional disorder or a failed attempt at self-cure of that disorder.
- Alcoholism and addiction do not exist but are empty words used by well-intentioned but misguided people to medicalize socially deviant behavior.
- The behavior of excessive drinking can, over time, become a deeply engrained habit, like smoking. But like smoking, one can just quit. Most problem drinkers "mature out" and quit on their own.
- The focus should be on finding a way to alter the drinking behavior that becomes socially harmful.
- The concepts of craving and loss of control of drinking lack scientific credence, so they are also empy words. Craving is merely memory and loss of control is learned and can merely be discarded. Moderated patterns of use can be relearned.
- Treatment is a failed social experiment that has turned into a multibillion dollar fraud. "Most alcoholics recover because they heal themselves."
- 12 Step groups are little more than religious cults. Coercing someone to A.A. is a violation of human rights and professional ethics.
- The disease concept has taken freedom and responsibility from the individual and replaced it with professional power and governmental coercion.
- The stigma of alcoholism needs to be increased and any effort to reduce it does a disservice to the alcoholic *(even though there is no such word) by reducing pressures to moderate consumption and could have the additional unintended effect of increasing the prevalence of addiction.
I, like Bill W., don't like the word disease as it relates to the behaviors of the alcoholic. But some of the claims by the DC critics sound like they are coming up against the Alcoholism Industry... rather than the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. But some of these claims are in direct opposition to what Alcholics Anonymous proclaims.
I will try to respond to some of these claims with my personal experience and interpretation of my own... personal experiences in the utilization of Alcoholics Anonymous as an alcohol abstinence and spiritual program and recovery method;
- Drinking booze for me is not a choice. That is a fact for me and one that pisses off not-like-minded- nor like-experienced people for some reason. Here are some other terms that get their goat for some reason; real alcoholic, recovered alcoholic.
- Alcoholic very well describes me. You could say that I drank with little regard for myself and others from the get-go, despite consequences of my personal health, freedoms, success in life, ability to socialize and fit in to society in the short and long term, etc. This is totally inconsistent with my behavior in most all other matters. I didn't want to be a pubic failure nor a risk to my personal well being and standing in the community, much less a risk to those around me... until I started to drink.
- Anybody can quit drinking and it's safer to moderate? Speak for your damned self. Why don't they offer Schlitz Malt Liquor in prison btw? Another yummy topic for another day. Go to bed with a Schlitz, wake up with the Schitz.
- A.A. is a religious cult blahblahblah? Not so fast, skippy. I didn't go to a meeting today and nobody missed me. I sort of wanted to go, but have work to do. I cannot afford the luxury to go just for the heck of it. I'd like to have gone for mere social reasons, but don't need a meeting today. I do have a report to get done and I'll finish it today on time... while writing this piece as well. So take your "cult" claim back to your own cult-ridden den and observe your own anti/XAer tendencies. What are you thinking about today besides how much you hate A.A. and proAAers? See, dickhead? Who's the victim of the cult now?
- Some of the most extreme DC advocates may want to show a bit of compassion for us, but how can somebody strip me of responsibility and freedom? How exactly? I've been sober 6.5+ years and am now going through my 7th set of steps sober. How exactly does the belief in a disease concept strip me of responsibility? Do people from Disease Concept Central call me daily and guilt me into going to a meeting? Do they get their frothy emotional appeal on my collar? Do they pat me on the back and say, "There there McGowdoggie... it's gonna be ok. You just sit down and have a nice banana split. DCC is gonna take care of you today. You just go to meetings and call us when you get out." You dickheads wouldn't know a 3rd Step if it slapped you in the puss. We DO appeal to God to take away our difficulties. We DO appeal to God to guide our lives. But that doesn't mean that we are not responsible for doing steps and fitting ourselves to be useful and whole in the society about us... in more ways than you would ever give us credit. This is an obvious knock to the A.A. program and a poorly conceived one at that.
- You take care of the hard drinkers and give A.A. a shot at the alcoholic. If those who are lead to A.A. are given the dignity to find out for themselves whether they belong or not and if they're willing to do the 12 proposals in their entirety, we can approach and surpass the 36% recovery rate that A.A. enjoys. That's right. Loran Archer cancels out Agent Orange and all you anti/XAer dorks with your spontaneous remission bullshit. The 64% of failures must be non-alcoholics or alcoholics who aren't done drinking yet.*
- Misappropriations of public resources may be something the DC community is guilty of, but not near as guilty as you anti/XA hacks. A.A. is exempt from this discussion due to its own traditions and non-control of the treatment community. That's right. If A.A. had control of the treatment facilities, it would look something like the program of recovery as outlined in the A.A. book and it's no where near that. A.A. oriented treatment is what you would call "empty words". If treatment did their job, they'd release the problem drinkers after they detoxed and sent them on their way to the recovery of their choice, be it A.A., RR, LF, SMART, MM, or whatever recovery they want. I'm getting off topic to the mention of treatment methods here, but there's plenty of DC advocates that have done wonderful research and you anti/XAers would just dispell it as bunk out of one side of your mealy-mouths, while blathering on and on about how nobody in the A.A. cult will hear your loud and inane claims for your treatment method, "Not-A.A.". Meanwhile, those DC Advocates merely verify what they have been saying in the 164 of the A.A. book since 1939.
- No physical component? My own experience debunks that myth. How about yours? Tell me about YOUR drinking for a minute. And yes, I will by using MY definition of alcoholic, thankyouverymuch. Since I am one, I'm fucking qualified. Fuckin' A right.
- Medicalize socially deviant behavior? Well whatever works for you... do it. I'll do it my way. You take the high road and I'll take the low road. I've solved the drink problem and the "socially deviant behavior" problem... and the "Disease Concept" pro nor con didn't weigh in the method that got me there. If you want to argue for the sake of argument, call it what ever the hell you want to. Get back to me when you've tried to help a drunk by merely showing them what you yourself do.
- Alcoholism is like smoking? Stick your cigarette up your ass. The grown-ups are talking about booze now. Here's a penny. Now go pound it into a dollar and go play on the freeway.
- You want to alter drinking behavior? Good luck with that. How's Audrey Kishline doin' these days? How'd that work for her? Oh, that's right. Blame her behavior on A.A., when it suits your claim. She had no illusions whatsoever that she could ever moderate and control her drinking, and she can drive well at 0.26. She was never a member, much less a founder, of a program that condones "Moderation Management", aka MM, A.A. forces you to drive to meetings when you're drunk. A woman can do most anything at 0.26. That's not even a buzz for a battleaxe like her, right? Being over 3 times the state limit for DUI is not her decision because A.A., er... Bill W... er... somebody who advocates A.A. said it's a disease and she's neither responsible nor does she have the freedom to choose whether to drive or not. BTW, was she headed to an A.A. meeting when she killed that poor guy and his 12 year old daughter? What does Stanton Peele say about this? He never advocated moderation for those in alcoholism recovery, right? Anything, so long as it's not A.A. That A.A. will make your drinking worse.*
- Concept of craving lacks scientific credence. What does Wiki say about the Disease theory of alcoholism these days? What does Wiki say about A.A. these days? Hmmm... it's good to hear both sides of the issue once in a while. My experience says that once I start, I cannot predict the outcome, unless I planned on getting trashed and destructive on the front end. I do that sometimes. I like to get drunk and fuck things up... sometimes. Not always. I'm very good at it, btw. Tell me about your experience with cravings now. I'm listening...
- Treatment is a failed social experiment. Amen to that, brotha. Most alcoholics recover because they heal themselves? Hmmm... I have an opinion about that one.
- 12 Steps are cults? Hmmm... maybe some of them. The ones you go to. Not the ones I go to. Bitch. Coercing someone to A.A. is a violation of their human rights and professional ethics. Amen to that, brotha. I went to A.A. because I thought it was a good idea. It was my goal coming out of high school and college. I graduated 3rd in my hs class. Had I graduated 2nd or 1st, I'd have included it into my Valedictorian or Salutatorian Speech; I want to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and I'm well on my way... just 7 more months and my goal will become complete! Yay to me! Fuck you all and die! Stupid dickheads. I didn't want to go to A.A. nor do A.A. But I did it and I stopped getting harassed by the professional community and the court systems. I don't even see Probation Officers anymore... for the purpose of fullfilling my legal obligations... er Violations of my Human fucking Rights! Professional ethics! You punished those poor alcoholics to seek help! You should be ashamed and disbarred!
- Disease concept = government coersion! Oh, the government that you voted into office? Go have a fucking drink. Have a martini and a Red Bull.
- The alcoholic, of which there's no such word, needs more stigma. Engrave the A letter to their forehead! A for AAnarcy, AAsshole, AAssoholic, AAssinine, AAntimony, etc.
*You anti/XAer dickheads. The alcoholics' prognosis gets better, not worse (see his August 30, 2010 article), when they drink more and crash harder. You got it ass-fucking-backwards. Moderate your drinking though. Get down. I support you on your drinking. Drink away. Drink em if you got em. I'll buy you your first one. But if you don't drink it, I'll make sure you at least wear it.