The Addiction Solution Podcast

Addiction Is Not a Disease, and That Matters – Episode I

Addiction Is Not a Disease, and That Matters

by | Jul 27, 2018 | Audio/Video, The Addiction Solution Podcast


  1. Luis Manuel Velásquez Chollet

    i am na member and aa member. I am clean and sober for 15 years. However I still smoke cigarretes

  2. z-truth

    The AMA defines Addiction as a disease by citing the most general criteria that addiction is a physiologic malfunction. But the AMA nor anyone else has the right to diagnose you or me with the disease of addiction, as defined by the AMA.. By the same token you do not have the right to say other people do not have the AMA recognized disease of addiction. In fact medical slander is defined as making false claims about an individuals medical diagnosis, and medical slander does not require proof of damages, nor proof of intent to harm. That also goes both ways. Everyone has the right to self agency in medical diagnosis and prognosis.

    A disease does not have to be a distinct entity like cancer that is terminal and is not mitigated by will power. There are other non typical diseases that generally qualify as physiologic malfunctions that initially result from using substances with some degree of self volition such as diabetes that is caused by self will power and choices yet may however still require medical treatment in many cases to aid a person to stop or change their neurologically reinforced learned bad behavior.. The fact that In some cases some people can simply change their eating and exercising behavior by will power. does not negate the general criteria of a disease.

    In my opinion about my medical case, I myself find that addiction and SUDs do meet the criteria of a physiologic malfunction in my unique medical case diagnosis and prognosis. Drugs added leverage that reinforced the learned behavior imprinted in my brain’s neurological connections and I don’t have that same pharmacologic leverage aiding my will power when I try to stop. Stopping is therefore not the same as starting – in fact the brain is impaired for many years after the substance leaves the system and malfunctioning. neurologically. Addiction can be treated like a disease with a Medically Approved and proven drug treatment called The Sinclair Method – Naltrexone is scientifically proven to extinguish the drug leveraged brain neurology that are far beyond natural and normal learning changes that occur in the brain..

  3. Steven Slate

    Hi z-truth,

    Whether addiction is or is not a disease is a topic of much debate. Mark & Michelle discussed their side of this general debate here. But you have somehow made this general debate about specific individuals – claiming that some sort of slander was done here. Did they specifically name you? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question – they did not name you, nor did the name any specific person and call them a malingerer or some such thing. Nobody was medically slandered here. These are odd thinly veiled threats you’re making, and they are not welcome.

    Then what do you offer as a counterargument? A fight against a strawman. You bring up the fact that people choose to do other things that result in diseases, liking eating in ways that lead to diabetes. Yet, right at the 4 minute mark Michelle dispelled this argument. She makes it clear that she is not saying people choose to catch the disease of addiction, with her lung cancer example. They choose to smoke. And the disease of lung cancer is a possible result of the freely chosen and freely stopped behavior of smoking. The point is clear, and to apply it to your diabetes example, it would be like calling the act of eating a disease. But the eating isn’t a disease – the failure of the body to properly produce insulin is the disease. In “addiction” substance use is the disease and substance use is the cause. This is circular.

    You then continue your apples to oranges comparison of addiction and diabetes, citing people changing their diet and exercise habits as some sort of analogy for recovery from addiction. The dieting and exercise are not the disease – the disease is tissue that doesn’t produce enough insulin. After that disease is created, a change in diet and exercise is what’s done to compensate for the disease. This analogy doesn’t work. The diabetic’s body still doesn’t produce a normal amount of insulin. The body is still going to go haywire if you put too much sugar in it. When a diabetic changes their diet and exercise they don’t recover from diabetes. When a person called an addict uses less substances, they are considered recovered from their addiction – because the substance use itself is considered the disease, and ceasing/reducing the substance use to non-problematic levels is considered recovery.

    Now I’m getting blue in the face.

    Our argument is not that people choose to catch the disease – it is that there is no disease. There is no involuntary substance use – a point made by many respected researchers. We aren’t the first to say it, and we won’t be the last, and it is never “medical slander” to do so.

    BTW, if your “some people can simply change” comment is meant as a reproach to our citation of untreated recovery rates, there’s also no comparison. It’s not that some people get over their addictions without help, it’s that the vast majority do. Only 15% of “alcoholics” ever get treatment – yet 90% recover. Only 25% of “drug addicts” ever get treatment, yet over 96% recover. Moreover, the rates of recovery for treated folks are not higher than the rates of those who don’t get treatment. In a medical treatment trial, when the group who receives treatment don’t get better outcomes than those who take placebos, the treatment is deemed to be ineffective. That is to say that everyone gets over their substance use problems by their own abilities, whether treated or not. That is what the decades of data on treated and untreated “addicts and alcoholics” demonstrates.

    -Steven Slate

  4. z-truth

    The Sinclair Method is approved to medically treat people via the auspices of the medical disease definition semantic/syntax.

    Although most people with an SUD can stop on their own sooner or later – some can not – and they die or have terrible loses in life.

    Total abstinence causes increased susceptibility for ADE “alcohol deprivation effect” that causes more obsession and compulsion and binge relapses that actually kills or causes more harm to more people after they try to stop an SUD..

    google cthreefiundation “alcohol deprivation effect”

  5. z-truth

    Hi Steve, This is a difficult subject to discuss and especially when you proclaim that NO ONE has a disease … as such, you are making a claim aimed at any and all individuals who have the inalienable medical right to decide their own diagnosis by their own self agency. You should be made aware that such over reach has a deep effect on individuals sense of boundaries being violated when you usurp their right to define them self with medical terminology that is accepted by as least as many Phds as you mention.

    You claim that the “many” differing opinions disprove the disease model, and give you authority to publicly undermine the validity all individuals’ medical diagnosis. Many others have replied elsewhere giving the dictionary definition of disease which you outright dismiss as totally invalid as if all diagnosis has to meet your specification – but that is simply not the case in medicine. Its not at all unusual for a disease to have a wide range of critical peer review and differing schools of thought. Medical Consensus is often accepted into protocol with only a simple majority of approval by highly valid and respected american medical conference organizations.

    The disease definition can not always be reduced to an apples and oranges either or decision. A disease may or may not encompass an effect a whole system that has to work together in balance and any element or combination of a system can throw the remaining system out of good health in ways that are not even understood yet are still able to be defined as a disease by specific signs and symptoms.

    My overall reply is due to an over arching concern that I am a person who spends time Protesting AA’s undue influence over the medical system. and I don’t like to see AA protesters engage in black and white reactionary proclamations that are conflated with and discredit the core issues of the AA protest movement. That being that AA has abused their diagnosis influence over others. It just as bad when alternate recovery community does the same thing.

    The medical diagnosis of addiction does not claim you are powerless or will always be addicted or really anything other than what you specify in your particular case wherein you define how you are were specifically adversely effected by “a general physiologic and or psychological malfunction”.

    You have previously conflated the definition offered by AA related groups with the non aligned general medical definition by the AMA and the WHO and other highly valid medical organization whose definition supports the validity of my diagnosis which provides a valid respectful medical explanation, not an excuse, for my specific symptoms.

    I’d prefer the public continue to be allowed to view my case that way, with out you authoritatively proclaiming than NO ONE – including myself – has a disease of addiction, if you don’t mind too much. In fact You have not offered any irrefutable proof why you would want to do so, There is no need for You to be the know all and diagnose all for everyone – you could just speak out of awareness of you own human limit to know everything with humility for the demographic that also experiences and agrees with your select symptoms and signs that do or do not define your disease model,

  6. Diabetes Typ

    Id have to check with you here. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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