Abstract

Abstract:

It is argued that alcoholism, and substance addiction generally, is a disease. It is not of its nature chronic or progressive, although it is in serious cases. It is better viewed as a psychological disease than a neurological one. It is argued that each time an alcoholic takes a drink, this is the result of choice; however, in cases of serious affliction, such choices are compulsive and may be called ‘involuntary’ in that they are made against the subject’s will, motivated by an overwhelmingly powerful desire that he wishes he did not have and not to act on. Alternative accounts in terms social learning theory and behavioral economics are critiqued. The conception of alcoholism as a tripartite disease composed of a ‘physical allergy,’ a mental obsession, and a ‘spiritual malady’ is defended from a contemporary scientific point of view.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3303
Print ISSN
1071-6076
Pages
pp. 297-315
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-06
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.