Alcoholism: disease or choice? - page 17

by HonestRN

What is your opinion; is alcoholism a disease or a choice? Please provide your rationale or empirical support of your belief.... Read More


  1. 3
    In recovery there will always be personal accountability.

    We keep learning more about the brain and the addicted brain. I don't think every criminal behavior is addiction in origin.

    As long as we treat addiction as criminal behavior we lose valuable members of society rather than treat an illness.
    Life_is_good_1973, sharpeimom, and 37 C like this.
  2. 2
    Quote from Orca
    Starting down the path is a choice. Remaining on it may or may not be. As one develops physical and psychological addictions, it is tougher and tougher to go in a different direction. That said, I don't accept addiction as a catch-all excuse for every aberrant or criminal behavior that people engage in. At some point there has to be personal accountability.
    For some, starting down the path is a choice. People who are not predisposed to alcohol dependence can, for various reasons, drink so much and so often that they wear a pathway to craving in their bodies and their brains.

    But there are many, many others who are born with a susceptibility to alcoholism that requires very little stir up the appetite for booze. Think of someone like Drew Barrymore who came from a long line of heavy drinkers and entered rehab for the first time at the age of 13!

    Not all of the folks who have this urge start drinking at the age of 9 like she did, but many were already getting wasted or raiding the parents' liquor cabinet long before they left high school.

    Does this genetic shove in the wrong direction excuse them from personal responsibility? Not in the least. But maybe understanding this unasked for burden could help others to refrain from judging them and saying they brought the problem on themselves. The only thing they did to "deserve" judgement was to be born to the wrong parents.

    If personal condemnation could be given the heave-ho, that might free up a lot of energy on both sides. Those formerly inclined to look down their noses could discover empathy that leads to genuine encouragement. And the alcoholics could find the motivation and the strength to handle the actual torments and temptations and the personal accountability that is crucial to staying clean and sober, one day at a time.
    aknottedyarn and sharpeimom like this.
  3. 0
    As someone whose childhood was destroyed by the actions and choices made by the adult alcoholics in my life - I view drinking as a choice. Alcoholism is a sickness - but it is a sickness that's only effective treatment is the choice to stop drinking made by the 'victim'.

    I, obviously, do not drink. I do not think drunkenness is 'cute', 'fun' or 'harmless'. Part of the reason I left the ED was dealing with drunks.
  4. 4
    I'm so sorry that you suffered at the hands of people who chose drinking over caring for you. That's a horrible legacy.

    But, I'm also glad that you called alcoholism as a sickness. It's a condition in which the afflicted didn't get a vote. But they have plenty of say about how they will respond.

    You can be an alcoholic without behaving like one.

    Alcoholism isn't a choice. Sobriety is lots of choices, day after day, month after month, year after year.
  5. 0
    Disease by choice!!


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