Alcoholic Loss of Control
In the mid-1930’s, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) began promoting the theory that alcoholism is actually a disease. Alcoholics latched onto the theory because they could see themselves as victims of a disease and not responsible for their drinking problem. Doctors, hospitals, and alcohol rehabs liked the theory because they could then be paid for treating the “disease.”
The problem is that science doesn’t support the disease theory of alcoholism. Basic to it is the belief that alcoholics suffer “loss of control” after drinking any alcohol and can’t stop themselves from continuing to drink.
But, for example, alcoholic priests don’t lose control after drinking wine in performing religious services. They blieve that they are drinking Christ’s blood rather than wine and so they don’t lose control.
Similarly, alcoholics don’t lose control after drinking alcohol without realizing it -- they “lose control” only if they know they’re consuming alcohol.
Very serious is the fact that people who believe in the loss of control theory are much more likely to relapse after drinking than are those who don’t believe the theory. Thus, the idea of loss of control often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Not surprisingly, except for helping alcoholics in detox, medical treatment for alcoholism is very ineffective. That’s why a substantial proportion of M.D.’s reject the disease theory of alcoholism.
Fortunately, not all recovery programs are based on the disease theory. This leads to a higher success rate.
filed under: Abuse