The definition of addiction runs the spectrum from “a moral failing” to being an “incurable disease”. The age old questions continue to be asked: is it the substance or the person that causes the disease? Is addiction genetic or learned? Is preventing severe withdrawal a sign of addiction or is a person who “craves” the substance the only definition of addiction?
Addiction has become an all encompassing word that covers a multitude of factors that leads to devastating substance misuse for too many. It is a convenient word to use for the unexplainable that has become part of the human condition in every community. From those who get sick from one drink or one pill to those who can’t stop after one drink or one pill, few understand the driving force behind the self destruction of addiction.
It recently occurred to me that “Addiction” has a different meaning for everyone, unless you are in the medical profession. For a medical professional, “addiction means money”.
The early origins of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) did not mention the word “disease”. http://www.aa.org/aatimeline/ A camaraderie of like minded people inspired by Bill W. and friends started an organization that has helped tens of thousands over the last 78 years. The foundation of AA was built by like minded people in need to aspire for the same goals. The early AA meetings were held in churches, people’s houses and community rooms.
In 1935, there was no such specialty as “addiction medicine” or psychiatrists to hand out pills to generate income.
There were no methadone programs or “Suboxone doctors” to enable a life-long dependency and money flow with little afterthought on helping the person psychologically for a long term solution.
On the May 28th radio show, Richard Wallrath said: “alcohol was not the problem, I was the problem”. That understanding has helped him for the last 45 years.
After almost 7 years of doing the radio show I believe addiction is “a thinking problem” and the substances become intertwined in coping with our surrounding environment. There becomes a very tight relationship between the substance and survival.
“Addiction Medicine” is the new “Quack Medicine” in our midst. Be wary of the “professional” who convinces the public that addiction is an “incurable disease”. Be wary of the professional who preaches “medication therapy” for the rest of one’s life. Addiction Medicine is going to siphon billions of dollars from health care while we watch our loved ones languish.
The “business model of addiction medicine” which includes prescription drugs for long term treatment, is the new coming disaster for those who need help the most.
“A thinking problem” needs a long term solution without a lifetime belief that you are incurable.
Depending on someone who carries a prescription pad is a road to nowhere.