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Question about the disease
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I am trying to figure out if I have 2 diseases or 1. 

How is alcoholism different from other drug addiction?  Same disease, different symptoms?  Or 2 separate diseases? 

 

How is alcoholism different from other chemical addictions with regard to the physical craving and mental obsession?



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MIP Old Timer

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Important questions...difficult to answer....

There are different views in the medical and psychological communities. Some don't even believe in the disease concept.

AA takes the approach that alcoholism is what it is concerned with--solely so. AA treats drugs, other addictions, and other treatments as outside issues. And AA professes no wisdom or even opinions regarding such outside issues.

I think there are similarities across the many maladies we are subject to. Differences, too.

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MIP Old Timer

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Myles wrote:

I am trying to figure out if I have 2 diseases or 1. 

How is alcoholism different from other drug addiction?  Same disease, different symptoms?  Or 2 separate diseases? 

 

How is alcoholism different from other chemical addictions with regard to the physical craving and mental obsession?


 

Great question ... Here's my experience ...

I finally admitted to myself, after years of trying to slow down, that I had a problem with alcohol ... once I took one drink, the phenomenon of 'craving' took over and I'd get drunk knowing I'd regret it the next day or whenever I woke up ... I became your typical 'real alcoholic' ... In 'The Doctor's Opinion' in the AA Big Book, his description of the alcohol fit me to a 'T' ... When I finally worked the AA program, I experienced the 'entire psychic change' the Dr. mentioned ... 

I went years with no problems as long as I maintained my daily 'conscious contact' with my higher power (for me, that is God) ... then it came about that I got cancer for the second time ... then open heart surgery ... and I found myself starting to crave the pain pills prescribed to me by my doctors ... It dawned on me that I was slipping into oblivion as I had done with the alcohol ... so I renewed my efforts to stay active with my AA program and get off the drugs ... it worked and I am here as proof that it works when we work it ... 

For me??? ... I feel the two addictions (alcohol and drugs) are symptoms of the same allergy ... or pretty damn close ... and recovery is able to be made using the same method used in the AA program and 'way of life' ... I've been through both scenarios ... 

As a reminder, here's what Dr. Silkworth wrote:

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.
 
 
 
 
Love ya and God Bless,
Pappy
 
P.S. ... went through cancer treatment a 3rd time with no addiction to the pills ... was too sick with the Chemo ... LOL ... still trying to recover from this one ... 


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MIP Old Timer

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An old thread but a goodie. You never know who might be reading. There are many disorders, addictions and compulisve behaviour sufferers who have adopted AAs program of recovery and adapted it to suit the particular issue. At one time AA tried to be all things to all people and it didn't work to well.

There are varying opinions, but so far, my experience is I don't understand the first thing about addiction I am an alcoholic as described in the big book of AA. I relate to that. When someone starts talking to me about pills or gambling or food, or whatever, I sometimes have a vague idea what they are talking about, but I don't understand their behavior. I guess I would be the same as the non alcoholic who doesn't understand alocholism. I have no experience of what they are taking about. And that is quite key.

AA discovered that one alcoholic can affect another like no one else could. It is a question of identification. The alcoholic alone, feels no one understands him. Plenty of people have tried to help, and are mystified when their efforts fail. They try and talk to him but it is plain to him they have no idea what it is like. Then the alcoholic comes along, and straight away you have someone who understands what it means to be alcoholic. They exchange a few stories and the man begins to realise that here is someone who really knows what he is talking about. When that lelvel of trust is established, they can move on to matters of recovery with much more confidence.

I have done that, been on both sides of that kind of meeting. But other issues have different cultures. You send someone to talk to me who has a gambling problem say, how am I going to relate? You send me to see an addict, how am I going to get him to identify if I don't have any experience that he could relate to? Get the picture?

Later on, when we have got past the issue of identification, the solution is of course the same. There is no reason alcoholics and addicts cant work together on some of the steps, possibly with the exception of step nine as drug culture could be a bit dangerous in this area I would imagine.

In the foreword to the first edition of the AA big book it says something like "we are sure our way of life would have its benefits for all" So I dont see anything wrong in sharing it with others, it is just that certain aspects of different conditions are not transferable for purposes of identification. We just can't go along and pretend to be what we are not. How well would that go down.



-- Edited by Fyne Spirit on Saturday 2nd of June 2018 07:00:31 AM

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Fyne Spirit

Walking with curiosity.

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