Saturday, May 8, 2010

the disease concept

some crucial digression from the widely
accepted and certainly flawed "disease concept"
of addiction so prevalent in society today

from the site,;

History and science have shown us that the existence of the disease of alcoholism is pure speculation. Just saying it’s so, doesn’t make it true.

Nevertheless, medical professionals and American culture lovingly embraced the disease concept and quickly applied it to every possible deviant behavior from alcohol abuse to compulsive lecturing.

The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology.

Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual.

In a recent Gallup poll, 90% of people surveyed believe that alcoholism is a disease. Most argue that because the American Medical Association (AMA) has proclaimed alcoholism a disease, the idea is without reproach.

But, the fact is that the AMA made this determination in the absence of empirical evidence. After reviewing the history of the decision, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the AMA has been pursuing its own agenda in the face of evidence negating the validity of alcoholism.

While the AMA has made extraordinary contributions in the mental health field, it is not outside the box. The AMA is a part of the capitalist paradigm that is necessary for our society to function.

The promulgation of the disease concept, in conjunction with AMA approval, has created a multi-billion dollar treatment industry that contributes billions to the health care industry.

But, with their status, mistakes in classifications can and do result in disastrous consequence. While the AMA’s classifications for the most part are accurate, the organization is not without error. Since its inception the AMA has made classifications of varying “deviant” behaviors without scientific research to validate its claims.

And, for whatever reason, the definition of a disease, as set forth by the AMA, is a malleable and all inclusive definition allowing for the inclusion of almost every deviant behavior. As a result, every unwanted behavior can be medicalized and medically treated thereby providing professionals with more patients and more income.

to be continued tomorrow...

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