Why Addiction is Not a Disease: Into the Debate Why Addiction is Not a Disease! • One of the main proponents • Stanton Peele • http://www.peele.net/ • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0 5ANXZKdCg0 • http://www.peele.net/lib/foxnfriends. html Main Messages • A host of addictions may be understood as disease, but they are not diseases • “Addiction is an experience people can get caught up in but that still expresses their values, skills at living, and personal resolve – or lack of it”. • Upon stopping use – peoples’ problems don’t disappear • Addiction has become a marketplace Sit with this… • We will never, ever treat away drug abuse, alcoholism, and the host of other behaviors that are now called addictive behaviors… Main Messages (cont.) • No biological urge to form addictions that will one day be found under the microscope • We are creating more addictions ever year / generation (who we often tell will never get better) • CHILD OF A PERSON WITH A DISEASE OF ALCOHOLISM • Mix up moral responsibility with disease diagnosis Peele’s idea of treatment / helping • Nurturing communities can protect and support the individual and family reduce an entire range of illness • Here people learn that can control their destinies = Self Efficacy • But we have not capitalized on self-efficacy, connection, support, and education instead we find it easier to… The Disease Timeline First Generation Diseases: AIDS Measureable Physical effects Preventative Inoculations Specific Microbes Clearly connected with the functioning of the body Second Generation Diseases: Mental Disorders Disordered thinking / feeling Derived from what we are told No Brain Scan / No Microbe Third Generation: Addictions If I stop behaviors(s) no disease Known by behaviors they describe Disease = compulsively seek DOC Convincing Ourselves the Impossible • Mental problems as “diseases” broadly accepted by 1950’s • Mentally people are sick like those suffering from sore throats…Medical science knows neither specific causes…nor specific ways of preventing them (World Book Encyclopedia, 1961) • Are we closer today? Szasz, Foucault, Bateson, Laing Presumed disease because declared so A problem does exist – but it's misunderstood Medical Garb Middle Class Morality Control behavior we don’t like Demand conformity Szasz, Foucault, Bateson, Laing: Explanations / Answers • • • • • • Family and the double bind Community Deep Understanding / Safety and Support Spiritual Journey Accountability Taking responsibility • Today for good and bad, greater public seduced by enthusiasm in neurosciences. No doubt great increased understanding of brain, which has helped reduce suffering from 1st generation diseases… • But why then have 1st and 2nd generation disease rates climbed? • Why so many pills? • Why are a great deal of “so called” addicts now dually diagnosed? • It is obvious that medical and pharmaceutical breakthroughs for firstgeneration diseases have not been forthcoming in dealing with our second and more noticeably 3rd generation diseases. • Medical community has itself contributed to increase in addiction? AA Becomes Institutionalized • Private fellowship now co-opted into mainstream medicine and psychotherapy (1970s) • Linchpin for services (widespread in U.S. and Canada) • We become convinced (lay public) millions of people are in need of services (just not acknowledging) • Thus AA moved away from an anonymous program; one where law, medicine and the like now coerce people into a one size fits all approach. • An approach that suggests once and alcoholic always an alcoholic Diseasing of America • AA/Medical view is popular and is being applied to every-kind of behavioral problem o Gambling o Overeaters o Compulsive shoppers o Relationships addicts, love addicts, and sex addicts o Suffers from agoraphobia to severe anxiety to eating paint chips o ADCOA o Depression o PMS o Video Game Addicts Can We Escape Being Diseased? • Worse yet, disease according to its own tenets - is biological in nature, and yet sufferer(s) are told they are incurable! Conclusions: Peele’s Final Stand • Disease conceptions are bad science • Biology is not behavior • People’s belief that they have a disease makes it less likely that they will outgrow the problem • We also most guaranteeing relapse • Lastly, the pseudo-medical and treatments of new diseases increasingly determine our feelings, our self-concepts, and our world views – defining our culture and who we are. Draw Backs: Unpeeling Peele • Let’s Chat!