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Friday, July 23, 2010

Is alcoholism a disease or a sin

Question: Is alcoholism a disease or a sin?

Click on comments to read Laura's advice.
Laura NP


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Bob,

There are several different theories regarding alcoholism. Some say it is genetic, a disease process that you inherited just like heart disease or diabetes. Some say it is a choice made by the weak and emotionally immature. And some religions identify alcohol consumption as a sin. So depending on your belief system, you can argue any one of these scenarios as the root cause of alcoholism. Let's start with disease. The American Medical Association classified excessive alcohol consumption as a disease. Why? They say from research, but the marketing and money machine of health care can't be dismissed as a motive for calling it a disease. Think of all the money that can be made by health care professionals who can bill for alcohol treatment. It has turned into a multimillion dollar business. I'm not sure genes can explain complex behaviors such as excessive drinking. So how about alcoholism as a choice. The story goes...one must choose to create the condition. People who claim to be "in remission" or describe themselves as a "dry alcoholic" have made a choice to stop drinking right? So if you can make the choice to stop, did you make the choice to start? And religion...the Bible says drink wine and be merry. But the Bible also condemns drunkenness. The Bible says you should not allow your body to be "mastered" by anything. So drinking is ok but drunkenness is not. Being drunk is a sin according to the Bible. So believe what you want. In the end, if the behavior interferes with your life on a daily basis, if it is ruining all the relationships in your life, if it bothers you, then it's a problem that you might want to choose to take care of. Good luck and let us know how it goes.