The Alcoholism Con 60


Bloggerheads is down. For a real blogger, that’s like the sun not coming up in the morning, only a great deal more serious. So I have to link to a cache. (Update – site back up, new link).

http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/05/id_like_you_to.asp

I have a very great deal of sympathy for poons and his struggle to break free from alcohol dependency.

http://howtodryout.blogspot.com/2009/04/introduction.html

Poons has realised his life had become a total mess, and I send him my genuine wishes in his brave effort to face up to it and get things together. But I do not beleive in swapping addiction to a substance with addiction to a cult of total abstinence reinforced by group sessions and silly slogans. You won’t see me posting “One day at a time” and “Follow the Twelve Steps”, like other commenters you can see on Poons blog.

And to see the great Tim Ireland posting wussy bollocks about good non-alcoholic beers, is deeply disturbing. There is no good non-alcoholic beer. Drinking it is like watching a football match without the ball.

I admire Tim’s honesty in owning up to being an alcoholic. Actually he is wrong. Part of the cult brainwashing is to convince you that you are always an alcoholic, even when like Tim you haven’t had a drink for a year.

You are not an alcoholic Tim. Alcoholics drink. You haven’t drunk for a year.

Actually I don’t think you were ever an alcoholic, whatever you think. As you know, this blog would not have existed without your help and support, and you have never not been there when I needed you, and you have never let me down. A real alcoholic would have.

I like a drink myself. I got married on Tuesday and drank eight glasses of champagne. I haven’t had a drink since. With friends in the pub I will drink four or five pints. At a dinner party I will have a couple of large whiskies followed by over a bottle of wine.

But I only drink on average on between one and two days a week.

I have drunk more. As a student, I drank every day for months on end. For long periods I drank more than Poons says he has been drinking. But when I had important work to do, or exams coming up, I would simply stop. Those many periods of student months of averaging over five pints a day would make me an alcoholic forever according to the stupid propaganda Tim has swallowed. But it didn’t. I drink when I want and stop when I want.

Poons is indeed, as Tim says, a Man of Courage for admitting and going public with his problems. But courage is not swapping a dependence on alcohol for a psychological dependence on total abstinence and the bullshit that once you are an alcoholic, you are always an alcoholic, like the religous brainwashing of original sin.

Self-reliance is having a drink when you want to and having the willpower and self-respect to stop when you want to.

I have had serious alcoholics in my family. I am not talking without experience.

All of which was said much better by Stan.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155164/?tag=Alcoholics+Anonymous.


60 thoughts on “The Alcoholism Con

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  • Vronsky

    A former partner was a councillor on alcoholism and said that AA’s success rate was much less than they claimed, and less controversial methods (i.e. not involving the Flying Spaghetti Monster) had better results.

    That said, I can see how a ‘spiritual’ angle might work. I was diagnosed with cancer about ten years ago, but made a full recovery. However I was unable to shake off feelings of acute anxiety despite being fully healthy and athletically active. I had become addicted to anxiety. A friend suggested Zen meditation. I needn’t go into detail, but it worked. In fact it worked so well that I later had to give it up as I became incapable of worrying about anything. Shit, you just can’t win, can you?

  • Kevin B

    glenn,

    You’ve obviously had some bad experiences. I’ve been sacked by the Catholic Church and made unemployable. I won a whistle-blowing court case against them…..which, amazingly, made me even less employable.

    You don’t have to convince me about the downside of the power wielded by so-called Christian organisations.

    I am speaking up for somethings that are quite different. The teaching of Christ and the reality of God.

    Let me just come out with it.

    It is an extreme view but I hold it because I believe it to be literally true.

    All the major levers of power in the world are in the hands of a Luciferian cult.

    There.

    Examine the physical facts of 9/11 and the ridiculous anomalies and physical impossibilities cries out to you. We have been told a bunch of lies. The fact that the media refuse to seriously examine the matter but rather call those who try to raise the issues abusive names should be cause for concern at the very least. (I have found employment now, as a teacher of physics. That 9/11 was an inside job is now proven. Totally. By the almost exactly free-fall nature of the collapses, by particles of unexploded nanothermate having been found throughout the WTC dust, by pools of molten metal in the basements, by eye-witness accounts of bombs going off and much more besides)

    The fact that to question the right to existence of our usurious money creation system is forbidden…..that the only question allowed is how to fix the system rather than replace it……tells us who is in charge of the media and ‘our’ government.

    Examine Freemasonry and Talmudic Judaism and you find religions whose STATED objective is total global hegemony.

    You find virulent anti-Christianity.

    This cannot reasonably be challenged. There is a mile of documentary evidence to support this.

    You find a devotion to and worship of Gods that are not the God who’s nature and teachings we have been introduced to (even if through somewhat corrupted humanity).

    Albert Pike, the world’s top mason rewrote the masonic oaths in ‘Morals and Dogma’ in 1876. He openly stated his devotion to Lucifer. He said that the masons, a “secret society within a secret society” would finally openly make it the world’s religion having brought the earth to its knees in a final third world war.

    9/11, the unwinnable “War on Terror”…..what’s it all about?

    It’s about creating the final conflagration that will deliver us into the bankers’ hands (and Lucifer’s)…..and all in the name of ‘World Peace’ and an ‘Equality’ that will be no equality at all but rather a terrible tyranny under murderous centralised control along the lines of the bankers’ trial run….the Soviet Union.

  • lwtc247

    @ dreoilin

    Thank you for your effort in providing the link.

    But from my reading of the abstract, the trials did not actually find a link. Quote: “these associations were not significant after multiple test correction”

    But instead regression analysis suggested it.

    A connection should be clear from trials, not hide in statistical models which easily afford results one wishes to find.

    They then use the stats to trump the actual trials! Which I find Shocking.

    The stats are also questionable even at face value, as the range of “variables” is large and deviations within are completely uncharacterised or quantified

    No discussion of how or what variations in CHRM2 are mentioned.

    {ok, I know I’m reading an abstract, and perhaps that was beyond the scope of that particular piece of research, but there is a worrying lack of caveats offered; quite typical I’m afraid.}

    “In addition, a specific diplotype might inversely affect risk for AD” This proves a link hasn’t been found or they would assert the case with the word ‘does’

    RA should never be solely relied upon to assert anything! To do so is incredibly bad (or risky at best) science. It should be used as a suggestion of a relationship to which further work should be undertaken to identify sub-parameters, control then and alter than.

    So I’m afraid I’m not convinced.

  • KevinB

    nextus,

    Why cannot it be all these things? This ‘thing’ I experienced changed my whole body chemistry for months. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t primarily ‘spiritual’.

    It was a transformation of consciousness. Surgeons whose patients have reported what has been going on in the operating theatre while the ‘team’ were trying to bring their bodies back to life….many of these intelligent men and women have declared a belief that consciousness itself must be extra-dimensional, non-physical, capable of separation from the self.

    It is true that one cannot prove the ‘meaning’ of an experience…..even one’s own most intense ones.

    I have had another more extreme contact with ‘something’ that I will not air on a public forum.

    You interpret reality one way.

    I interpret it another.

    You are locked into an unproveable faith as much as I am.

    Can you admit that?

  • dreoilin

    @lwtc247

    There are other links out there. I just gave you the first one to hand. Google is your friend. 🙂

  • lwtc247

    @ dreoilin

    “what some wacky religion dictates, and do no thinking for oneself.”

    You do a disservice to some great minds religious philosophers, theologians and scientists throughout the ages. Many who have reflected upon religious instructions and were perfectly at ease with them. I’ve yet to see anything better.

    you are also saying I don’t think for myself. I assure you I do.

    But I understand full well that in places as is the case with many posters in Craigs blog that religion isn’t trendy.

    It’s amazing how nearly all roads essentially lead to discussion God. 4000+ yrs and counting.

  • dreoilin

    “You do a disservice to some great minds religious philosophers, theologians and scientists throughout the ages.”

    I couldn’t care less. Give me one good solid piece of evidence that God exists?

  • dreoilin

    “But I understand full well that in places as is the case with many posters in Craigs blog that religion isn’t trendy.”

    Please. I’m far too old and been through enough to give a tuppeny damn what’s trendy and what isn’t. 🙂

  • anticant

    I’m a blogging addict, but not for much longer. When the warmer weather comes I shall be spending more time out of doors.

  • lwtc247

    @ dreoilin

    My assessment is that the genetics of physiology involving psychology, is way too far from being understood sufficiently, to yield strong enough evidence at this moment in time.

    I could Google around, but it’s usual for the claimant to provide his body of evidence to justify his opinion, but I do appreciate the previous link.

    At which point I apologise for not reciprocating the courteously on my belief that sociological factors are the more important ones. Maybe I’ll build up a held of steam one day to do so, but honestly speaking, the study of alcoholism is a low priority. Hope someone else takes up the banner.

    If I did Google around, I’m sure I’d find the same ‘stat hiding’ its pandemic amongst the physical sciences.

    At least we know the AA works. The ‘black box’ approach is often unduly criticised.

  • lwtc247

    “Please. I’m far too old and been through enough to give a tuppeny damn what’s trendy and what isn’t. :)”

    – LOL. Fair enough. 🙂

  • Craig

    Just to point out (and off my own thread I know) that I am some species of Deist. It’s not that I don’t believe in God, just that I don’t believe in the risible embellishments of all organised religions.

  • Dick the Prick

    I guess people know if they’re alkies. It’s a toughie, to be sure but if one finds that it’s screwing up other things then I guess one has to prioritize. I really do bloody object to boozers being taxed to buggery and supermarkets giving the stuff away. Boozers are like post offices and village halls rolled into one and this bloody government have knackered them too – typical.

  • lwtc247

    TWINS !!!

    That’s it! If there is a genetic factor to alcoholism, it would be evident in identical twins. I don’t think any such evidence exists.

  • lwtc247

    “It’s not that I don’t believe in God, just that I don’t believe in the risible embellishments of all organised religions.”

    Noted.

  • dreoilin

    @lwtc247

    “Family, twin and adoption studies have shown that alcoholism definitely has a genetic component. In 1990, Blum et al. proposed an association between the A1 allele of the DRD2 gene and alcoholism. The DRD2 gene is the first candidate gene that has shown promise of an association with alcoholism (Gordis et al., 1990).

    “A study in Sweden followed alcohol use in twins who were adopted as children and reared apart. The incidence of alcoholism was slightly higher among people who were exposed to alcoholism only through their adoptive families. However, it was dramatically higher among the twins whose biological fathers were alcoholics, regardless of the presence of alcoholism in their adoptive families.”

    http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/genetics/a/aa990517.htm

    Happy googling. 🙂

  • dreoilin

    “I don’t think any such evidence exists.” –lwtc247

    You ‘don’t think’?

    tsk tsk

  • glenn

    KevinB:

    As for bad experiences, my main grievance is not being told that Christianity was just one belief system which the teacher/school/etc. happened to espouse. The idea of alternatives never came up.

    One kid – when I was about 11 – said in Religious Studies that he did not believe in god, and was treated as a filthy degenerate by the teacher. Other kids wanted to beat him up, and asked me to be in on it. Actually believing in religion at the time, I convinced them that was the last thing Jesus would want them to do. He was spared a beating.

    That was how “Christianity under attack” got dealt with back in the good old days, I suppose.

    *

    I don’t believe for one moment about your Luciferian cult, but I absolutely agree with you that 9/11 was an inside job. There is simply no way – all other evidence aside – that three buildings could undergo an unprecedented perfectly symmetrical collapse, simply because of random damage and small fires (way below the temperature and duration that would seriously affect massive steel structures).

    Never mind the squibs, the eye-witnesses to explosions, the ejection of beams weighing tens of tons hundreds of feet, the total pulverisation of the buildings’ contents (including people) – utterly unknown in crushed buildings. Just the basic conservation of momentum tells us this is impossible, when we are asked to believe that floors progressively becoming the very top of the collapsing building mysteriously “assume” the downward velocity of the debris of the collapsed floors above it. (After all, much of the debris dissipated in a mighty explosion which initiated the collapse.)

    Basic principles of momentum and inertia dictate that – unless the floor at the top end of the collapse has already started to fall – it will slow down the progression of the fall. It would have to offer zero resistance, as if the top of the building were almost falling through air, not a reinforced stable structure.

    It is not possible that the twin towers, and WTC-7, made a near free-fall collapse, as per the official story. And, painfully, everything else that follows is false – from wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Military Commissions Act, Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and all our equivalents in the UK.

    *

    That said, I’m not up for your devil theory. Insiders (who called for a “new Pearl Harbour” in their Project For a New American Century, back in 1996 or so. Bill Clinton didn’t buy it, but since 9/11, they got everything they wanted.

    I don’t know what really happened on 9/11 – a genuine investigation needs to take place, not that sham that Bush cronies tried to pull.

    But asking legitimate questions should not label one a conspiracy-theorist nut. I wish more people would have the intellectual honesty to question them openly.

  • Anthony

    The arguments here run the risk of totally confusing the situation. There are very strong pro and anti sentiments regarding addiction, AA, religion and faith.

    I would like people to stand back and view this from a practical point of view.

    Heavy drinking may, or may not, turn you into an alcoholic. I see an alcoholic as someone who has lost control of their lives and for whom the next drink is the most important thing in the world.

    There is clearly some sort of hardwired predisposition to becoming an alcoholic even if the precise DNA expansion of this, and the circumstances which trigger it, are debatable.

    There is no point in pointing to people who have just turned around and given up drink and then saying if they can do it so can you. A person who becomes entrapped in alcohol dependence (lets leave the ism aside for the moment) is often not capable of making the required leap into rationality. Alcoholics are usually mired in the depths of depression, have lost all self respect, want to get better but have lost hope that this is possible.

    AA, as one approach among others, offers the addict a sort of temporary absolution and conviction that escape is possible. No matter that the “Higher Power” tends to be “God” in the society we live in. The methodology does not even require a deity. Just a handover, a leap of faith which can be built on.

    Sure, there is a huge fudge involved. If it is a disease then the diseased are not responsible for their condition, but AA requires that they take responsibility, seek forgiveness and make restitution. But the fudge permits the initial leap to sobriety, to re-entering the human race and, when the person is strong enough, they can then take responsibility and regain their self-respect.

    The methodology is very clever and it works. But only if the person is totally committed to it (insert here all the rock bottom stuff). It is also a la carte after a fashion. Some people can manage without doing all twelve steps, once they get one foot on the ladder.

    It is also a human organisation. Full of gobshites and power freaks who often lord it over newcomers. But the bulk of the fellowship are grateful to be where they are and give unstintingly to their less fortunate brethern along the way. It is a support group par excellence and anyone with a bit of cop on can identify those for whom sobriety has become an ego trip and a perversion of the aims of AA.

    The general success rate of recovery (or achieving the recovering state) from true alcoholism is quite low. If AA adds to it then it is worthwhile.

    You really don’t have to join the Borg for life to succeed.

    May the force be with those who need it.

  • lwtc247

    @ dreoilin

    Thinking such evidence didn’t exist was for reasons you are ignorant of (which I don’t feel any compulsion to explain) was because I had not come across such info before.

    You indicate you never think such things. Good for you.

    Since I wrote that, I have actually come across some ‘prima facie’ work that does indicate there is a generic link.

    I am re-evaluating my opinion. Shocking isn’t it?

  • dreoilin

    “You indicate you never think such things.”

    Nope. But you were demanding evidence from me, while blithely writing “I don’t think any such evidence exists” without even Googling the subject.

    “I am re-evaluating my opinion. Shocking isn’t it?”

    Not at all. And I’m glad to hear it.

  • lwtc247

    Yip, as you were chastising me, yet offered no chastisement of your self – an outcome based on what you specifically referenced for differential intent ergo my statement “I don’t think any such evidence exists.”

    “I don’t think any such evidence exists” as was clear from my last post, a point you seemingly failed to pick up on, is that those thoughts were an initial position (for reasons I don’t have to explain). And I did take the initiative to make some simple enquiries having responded at 3:11 PM to your 6:05 PM post not having seen the extracts you provide, so your further chastisement about “googling” is also invalid.

    That it was me who offered the ‘Twins’ line as means to suggest a link, thereby indicating some fluidity of stance, whereas your ill-provided reference languished in the realms of pliable mathematical modelling, gained no recognition on your part, to wit, I’m beginning to see where you are coming from.

    Neither am I surprised that having criticised that first reference you put up, no sign came from you that +your+ opinion of a generic association, didn’t look for an escape hatch from it’s ivory tower.

    Misunderstand this post too, and fortify that ivory tower by not opening your mind to any possible studies of twins that may well show oppose conclusions.

    Cheers.

  • Craig Mitchell

    Ultimately arguing this from a genetic point of view is pointless – a bit like saying your genes made you murder – it’s not that simple (see quote below).

    Incidentally a few years back I read about a study using LSD (under laboratory conditions) that was successful in treating alcoholics (not sure what the exact success rate was/is),

    “There is also evidence that different versions of certain genes – for example, those that make proteins involved in the breakdown of toxic chemicals by the body – can affect the liability of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs. Yet environment and upbringing play an +equally+ important role, and in many cases a decisive one. A behavioral pitfall such as alcoholism is the result of neither nature nor nurture, but a complex interaction between the two.” Geneticist Jess Buxton & Science writer & lecturer Jon Turney from the Rough Guide to Genes & Cloning, 2007.

  • Ex Smoker

    I disagree, an alcoholic is different from a drunk (as the t-shirt says, but for different reasons), and it would do good for us to help destigmatize the word ‘alcoholic’. A drunk is someone who drinks alcohol to the point that it becomes self-destructive behavior–whether that means bingeing twice a week at university parties or or having three glasses of gin before breakfast.

    An alcoholic, on the other hand, is simply someone who is addicted to alcohol. This addiction, like most, never really goes away. It subsides, and the person can adapt and live a normal life, but drinking alcohol or whatever they are addicted to can undo all of that in an instant.

    I’m recovered from tobacco (cigars), and it’s the same thing. I no longer get the urge to have a good smoke, even when I’m really stressed out, but if I stand near someone with a cigar or an unfiltered cigarette I start to have cravings again. It’s been nearly three years since my last smoke. Probably, I will never be able to be around people who smoke comfortably for the rest of my life.

  • dreoilin

    Craig Mitchell,

    I never said “my genes made me do it”. Everything you posted in that quote is correct, to my knowledge. What I did say originally is that “there is a genetic predisposition to addiction”.

    Which simply means that faced with certain major difficulties (which I was) I was more likely to become dependent on alcohol (having self-medicated with it) than another person in the same sitution. Period. It’s not an excuse, it’s a scientific fact.

    And I have tried numerous times to give up smoking but despite having succeeded with alcohol for the past 22 years, I haven’t managed to quit smoking. I think the statistics are that 60% of alcoholics who succeed in recovering (abstinence) never manage to give up smoking.

  • dreoilin

    Ex-smoker,

    Don’t be downhearted about the future. I think it’ll get easier for you. I’m sitting with vodka, wine, whiskey, Bailey’s and sherry not more than 10 feet away, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

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