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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:10 am
 


See, that's the problem for people with addictive personalities and predispositions. They don't know before they try that first cigarette or cheeseburger or whiskey shot how much they're gonna like it. It's easy to say "if you don't want to be an alcoholic, don't drink", but people usually wade into addiction. It's rarely a problem at the initial stages of use, even with very hard narcotics.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:17 am
 


Lemmy wrote:
See, that's the problem for people with addictive personalities and predispositions. They don't know before they try that first cigarette or cheeseburger or whiskey shot how much they're gonna like it. It's easy to say "if you don't want to be an alcoholic, don't drink", but people usually wade into addiction. It's rarely a problem at the initial stages of use, even with very hard narcotics.

So let's say I'm predisposed to become addicted to heroin if I use it - does that make me a heroin addict?

I would say no, because despite my predisposition, I'm not actually using it, and I'm not suffering the health consequences associated with the addiction.

I don't see why it's any different with alcohol, other than the fact that it's not so obvious whether or not I have that predisposition.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:29 am
 


I don't believe that you're born "alcoholic", "smoker" or "drug addict".
I also wouldn't classify them as diseases.

You may have predispositions to become one, but probably only a small fraction of those who have a predisposition actually abuse in their lifetime.

There are many reasons why some become abusers and it may be as simple as your circle of friends, but once you've fallen into it, it's very hard to get out of it. And once you're "out of it" it's very easy to fall back in... one drink, one puff or one hit. Maybe your body and mind adapts to your abuse, hard-wires parts of your system which makes it so easy for you to abuse again.

That's why AA says that when you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic for life, even if you haven't had a drink for 20 years.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:07 am
 


Blue_Nose wrote:
That goes back to my point about distinguishing the predisposition from the condition - you don't say someone who is predisposed to obesity is obese if they aren't actually overweight.


I never did. I was simply refuting Shep's claim that all alcoholics abuse alcohol.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:13 am
 


raydan wrote:
That's why AA says that when you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic for life, even if you haven't had a drink for 20 years.


That’s because once you have developed the abuse/dependency cycle, by reintroducing the particular trigger, you are very likely to fall into exactly the same cycle again. This is the norm with physiological addictions, predisposed or not.

To clarify the earlier comments. Predisposition to any particular behaviour does not mean that one will adopt that behaviour…..ever. As I said earlier, one who MAY be predisposed to being an alcoholic from a family that has a 100% alcoholic history on all sides is not an alcoholic until they become one. That is, becoming dependant on the effects of the alcohol and abusing it on a regular basis. That same person may drink socially and NOT be an alcoholic. Once the alcoholic dependency has been established however, it’s fair to consider them alcoholic for life only because once the cycle is reintroduced, recidivism is all but guaranteed.

AND if you don't abuse alcohol, you don’t NEED alcohol, you’re not an alcoholic.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:26 am
 


poquas wrote:
raydan wrote:
That's why AA says that when you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic for life, even if you haven't had a drink for 20 years.


That’s because once you have developed the abuse/dependency cycle, by reintroducing the particular trigger, you are very likely to fall into exactly the same cycle again. This is the norm with physiological addictions, predisposed or not.

To clarify the earlier comments. Predisposition to any particular behaviour does not mean that one will adopt that behaviour…..ever. As I said earlier, one who MAY be predisposed to being an alcoholic from a family that has a 100% alcoholic history on all sides is not an alcoholic until they become one. That is, becoming dependant on the effects of the alcohol and abusing it on a regular basis. That same person may drink socially and NOT be an alcoholic. Once the alcoholic dependency has been established however, it’s fair to consider them alcoholic for life only because once the cycle is reintroduced, recidivism is all but guaranteed.

AND if you don't abuse alcohol, you don’t NEED alcohol, you’re not an alcoholic.

That's what I meant when I wrote "hard-wires parts of your system".
Sorry, I don't know psychologist talk so I kinda faked it. :wink:

I know someone who became an alcoholic well into their 70s.
Social drinker before that, never a problem.
Drink became the way to deal with the onslaught of Alzheimer.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:31 am
 


poquas wrote:
[1] Once the alcoholic dependency has been established however, it’s fair to consider them alcoholic for life only because once the cycle is reintroduced, recidivism is all but guaranteed.

[2] AND if you don't abuse alcohol, you don’t NEED alcohol, you’re not an alcoholic.

I don't see these two claims as consistent with each other - hypothetically let's say I was an alcoholic but I've cleaned up and I no longer have any dependency on it.

[1] would suggest that I'm still an alcoholic because I'm an alcoholic "for life", yet [2] would suggest that I'm not alcoholic because I'm not, at this point, abusing or dependent on alcohol.

From what I can see, [1] is just saying that you're highly predisposed to alcoholism if you've suffered from it in the past, so I don't see how that's different from someone who's just highly predisposed to alcoholism without having drank before. To use my previous analogy, I'm not considered obese if I've slimmed down to a healthy weight just because I used to be obese in the past.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:41 am
 


The proof is in the pudding as they say.

Once an alcoholic, POTENTIALLY always an alcoholic. I'd go as far as to say very likely.

There are always exceptions, and those are extremely rare. In over thirty years where I’ve been involved, I’ve never known an exception.

That applies to any dependency based on an established chemical addiction. There are psychological addictions that can be very similar although that typically involves the nurture component of the nature vs. nurture argument.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:50 am
 


poquas wrote:
Once an alcoholic, POTENTIALLY always an alcoholic. I'd go as far as to say very likely.

There are always exceptions, and those are extremely rare. In over thirty years where I’ve been involved, I’ve never known an exception.
You're saying you've never known someone that's recovered from a dependency on alcoholism?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:03 pm
 


Blue_Nose wrote:
poquas wrote:
Once an alcoholic, POTENTIALLY always an alcoholic. I'd go as far as to say very likely.

There are always exceptions, and those are extremely rare. In over thirty years where I’ve been involved, I’ve never known an exception.
You're saying you've never known someone that's recovered from a dependency on alcoholism?


Not one that could ever take a drink again with spiralling back into the old behaviour. The behaviour may change, but the addiction has already been established and would re-establish itself again given the opportunity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:08 pm
 


poquas wrote:
Not one that could ever take a drink again with spiralling back into the old behaviour. The behaviour may change, but the addiction has already been established and would re-establish itself again given the opportunity.
Right, so you're maintaining that someone who was an alcoholic that hasn't had a single drink for, say, 10 years is still an alcoholic?

How does that compare to someone who once weight 300 lbs, went on a strict diet, and lost all the weight and are now down to 180 - do you still call them obese just because if they started eating cheeseburgers they'd gain the weight back again?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:21 pm
 


Blue_Nose wrote:
Right, so you're maintaining that someone who was an alcoholic that hasn't had a single drink for, say, 10 years is still an alcoholic?

How does that compare to someone who once weight 300 lbs, went on a strict diet, and lost all the weight and are now down to 180 - do you still call them obese just because if they started eating cheeseburgers they'd gain the weight back again?


Of course not.

While eating may be called addiction… obesity certainly is not. It's a behavioural or medical problem


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:30 pm
 


poquas wrote:
Blue_Nose wrote:
Right, so you're maintaining that someone who was an alcoholic that hasn't had a single drink for, say, 10 years is still an alcoholic?

How does that compare to someone who once weight 300 lbs, went on a strict diet, and lost all the weight and are now down to 180 - do you still call them obese just because if they started eating cheeseburgers they'd gain the weight back again?


Of course not.

While eating may be called addiction… obesity certainly is not. It's a behavioural or medical problem

So if I understand correctly, any addiction where there is no "chemical" trigger, would fall into these categories?
Sexual addiction would be behavioural?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:46 pm
 


raydan wrote:
So if I understand correctly, any addiction where there is no "chemical" trigger, would fall into these categories?
Sexual addiction would be behavioural?


A release of endorphins in the brain “could” be called a chemical trigger, so the answer is not that black and white.

A "habit" is not an addiction and sexual “addiction” is not an addiction in the clinical sense. Sexual gratification whether it’s done solely, as a couple or in a group is most certainly not an addiction.

The term addiction is quickly becoming one of the most overused words in the medical community. More often than not (especially when it comes to “celebrities”) it’s over used to excuse what is simply bad behaviour. By calling it an addiction, it justifies the “rehab” that usually follows.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:49 pm
 


A "medical condition" is a synonym of "disease".

I believe that once you've quit alcohol, you are still an alcoholic for life.
I've known and know a lot of people fall back into alcohol after 10-20 years of abstinence. Like when you are a addicted to nicotine, you are "for life". One cigarette can trigger it all.


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