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Old 03-30-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
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A couple of other observations/questions:
(1) Why is it that the countries that produce and consume the most wine (primarily in the Mediterranean), on a per capita basis, have the lowest alcoholism rates, per capita?
-- Perhaps it's because it's really hard to drink A LOT of wine. It's a sipping drink. And, it's not that you can't overdo it, but it just doesn't lend itself to overindulgence like beer. That's what I think. I also think your experience in having it available from a younger age also comes into play. Here everything is so restricted that it becomes the forbidden fruit. But, who is going to change the law? We need to lower the drinking limit and up the driver's age limit. As my mother always said, if you are old enough to die for your country, then you should be entitled to a drink. Okay, sorry - that's another topic.

(2) Don't alcoholics who are really smart and interesting people know they turn into morons (or belligerant a-holes) when they drink?
-- Nope. Not at all. They think they're funny. It's the nature of most drugs. That's why most addicts want others around them to be on the same stuff. Shoot, I know I can be a complete idiot when drunk and I really only want other idiots around to witness it. The problem is when you always have to get drunk and refuse to interact with those who won't join you. I had a friend in college tell me I was boring, because I wouldn't go out and get drunk with her all of the time.

(3) Why is this a disease? Let me explain why I ask. If a young person who has this supposed predisposition and genetic makeup, and has never sampled alcohol, is hypothetically shipwrecked "a la Gilligan's Island" and there is plenty to eat (say there is game to kill, fruits and vegetables, which can be eaten or juiced) but NO ALCOHOL, they would have no disease because there would be no cravings, no withdrawals and no physical symptons. In short, it's not a disease, it's an addiction. Gambling addictions, drug addictions and sexual addictions are called addictions, not diseases. What's up with this?
-- I'm totally with you on this. I've read about certain groups of people having predispositions to this, but I just don't believe it's a disease. Whatever you call it, it's a valid problem and needs to be treated.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:24 PM
 
14,743 posts, read 31,075,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariecug View Post
It's true - we learned about the lower rate of alcoholism in Med. countries in my addictions course.
Thank you! There you go, professorsenator. And yes, Metlakatla, my parents are from that same general area and they were hard pressed to name any alcoholics they name except the one or two town drunks. Boy, were they taken aback by the level of alcoholism in the U.S.

Right, when I think of high alcoholism, I think of Ireland, UK, Scandinavia and Native Americans. When I think of low alcoholism, I think of Italy, Greece and the Middle East.

I wonder why that is, though. Is it climate, genetics, culture and/or lack of taboo surrounding alcohol? They don't have a drinking age posted in those countries. It's a non issue. If they could only abstain from nicotine, though.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:57 PM
 
22,598 posts, read 30,598,566 times
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Robert, this is just speculation, but...

Quote:
I wonder why that is, though. Is it climate, genetics, culture and/or lack of taboo surrounding alcohol?
The Mediterranean is where alcohol originated. So over the course of time, the people there may have developed some sort of genetic predisposition to be less susceptible to alcohol addiction. When it got to the Northern areas and to the Native Americans, they hadn't developed this (if it even exists; as I said, just speculation). But it does make sense because people in that part of the world have had alcohol in their culture for much longer than the rest of the world.

I'm not putting Natives down but I've seen too many of them become real addicts very quickly. That's what causes me to believe that genetics plays a significant role in it.

Quote:
Is it climate, genetics, culture and/or lack of taboo surrounding alcohol?
I think that all of these factors come into play, and that they are all interrelated.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:18 PM
 
14 posts, read 35,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Since I wasn't too exposed to this stuff, it really puts me out. One friend told me that these people were drawn to me because I didn't drink. I found that weird since I would think they would like to find drinking buddies. One of them even told me "I don't trust people who don't drink." Have you, as a non-user or "take it or leave it" consumer,

...had friends who had problems with alcohol and what did you do about it?
...per capita basis, have the lowest alcoholism rates, per capita?
...Don't alcoholics who are really smart and interesting people know they turn into morons (or belligerant a-holes) when they drink?
...Why is this a disease?
...In short, it's not a disease, it's an addiction. Gambling addictions, drug addictions and sexual addictions are called addictions, not diseases. What's up with this?
Let's keep it civil. Please discuss.
Question 1: If you think a friend is abusing something, tell them... but also remember that they have a free will and can do what they want in bounds of the law.

Question 2: Don't care, look it up... Probably varies upon culture.

Question 3: Don't ask a leading question jerk off.

Question 4: Because really smart and interesting people have found various forms of chemical abuse physically modify the brain.

Question 5: What's up is you're wrong.

[URL="http://www.ucsf.edu/science-cafe/conversations/fields/"]Alcoholism: Vice or Disease? A Conversation with Howard Fields, Part*1*of*3 - Science Café - UCSF[/URL]


Now if you don't mind I'm going to forget about this stupid site and go back to brewing...


“If you let me shoot everybody who sells alcohol and drugs, I’d vote for it in a minute because then all our prisons would empty.”
words of Gene Amondson, candidate for president on the Prohibition Party.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:52 AM
 
28,900 posts, read 50,265,439 times
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I think there are people who are genetically disposed to alcoholism, and then there are people who just get that way.

My sister-in-law is a recovering alcoholic. Her father was, too.

On the other hand, I have a friend who had no family history of it. The problem was that, in high school, he was into serious binge drinking with his other friends (I went to a few party and found them too unnerving--and I'm no prude). So he made heavy drinking part of his lifestyle through college and beyond. So now, he's an alcoholic.

In his case, I think the issue is that we've made drinking the Holy Grail, the Forbidden Fruit for adolescents, so they seek it out, do as much as they can, and it becomes part of their lives.

Now, during a good party, I'll have 2-3 drinks. What's more, during my college days, I occasionally drank to excess. I admit as much. But it just was never the sine qua non of my life. My parents allowed us a glass of wine with dinner when we were younger, so it just wasn't that big a deal when I got older.

A local expert on the subject, a woman from a pretty prominent rehab clinic, claims that if you can simply keep kids from drinking until they're 21, their odds of becoming alcoholics plummet. So that tells me that that, while genetics play a role in some cases, a larger percentage stems from acquired behavior.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:54 AM
 
28,900 posts, read 50,265,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyrfalcon View Post
Question 1: If you think a friend is abusing something, tell them... but also remember that they have a free will and can do what they want in bounds of the law.

Question 2: Don't care, look it up... Probably varies upon culture.

Question 3: Don't ask a leading question jerk off.

Question 4: Because really smart and interesting people have found various forms of chemical abuse physically modify the brain.

Question 5: What's up is you're wrong.

Alcoholism: Vice or Disease? A Conversation with Howard Fields, Part*1*of*3 - Science Café - UCSF


Now if you don't mind I'm going to forget about this stupid site and go back to brewing...


“If you let me shoot everybody who sells alcohol and drugs, I’d vote for it in a minute because then all our prisons would empty.”
words of Gene Amondson, candidate for president on the Prohibition Party.
Sorry. I think your tone is way out of line for this board. The OP asked a perfectly legitimate set of questions that really didn't warrant such a hostile response on your part.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:00 AM
 
17,333 posts, read 15,920,915 times
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if you want to learn more about alcoholism, an excellent resource is to attend either Alcoholics Anonymous, or Al-Anon, you will get a lot more information there, and it is more in depth and more accurate, then what you will get on this board. Also the questions you pose and ponder and are exploring indicate you would personally benefit from attending Al-Anon. Alcoholism is a disease classified by the American Medical Association.

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 07-29-2008 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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To the question of is it a disease, I believe it is. To those in the grips of alcoholism, one common road of destiny is the road to death. People simply drink and the alcohol becomes their whole life and they die from it, some more quickly than others. This is not a lifestyle choice. Ask anyone dying the slow death of alcoholism and they will tell you it is hell.

Alcohol affects some people differently than others. I don't think anyone here would argue against that point. If you're alcoholic, it gets ya, it grabs ya, it explodes in your brain and courses through your veins like fire, the veil of the robotic boredom / monotony of the day falls away like a dissolving fog and your spirit feels Free at Last! Gimme more of that stuff, and quick!

The craving for More of That Stuff, sadly, doesn't end. You don't have a drink or three, get a warm comfortable buzz, and say, okay, that's quite enough for tonite, I think I'll go to bed, wake up tomorrow, and have another normal day. What happens instead, well can vary from day to day, but frequently ends up with waking up the next day, wondering Where Am I? What happened? And Oh My God My Head Hurts so Bad I Wish I was DEAD!!!

And often, 'why, why, why, did that happen again? I wasn't going to let that happen anymore!'

ad nauseum. If you're not an alcoholic, likely as not you have no idea what I'm talking about. If you are alcoholic, you may be one of the lucky ones who learns that alcohol is bigger, badder, and much stronger than you are, and if you just don't let it pass your lips all of this awful stuff stops happening.

But as you might guess, it's not that easy to do.

Is this a disease? It's a very deadly disease, and we usually only find out if we have it or not -- the hard way.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:22 PM
 
Location: The 719
16,067 posts, read 24,619,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSumRaja View Post
if you want to learn more about alcoholism, an excellent resource is to attend either Alcoholics Anonymous, or Al-Anon, you will get a lot more information there, and it is more in depth and more accurate, then what you will get on this board. Also the questions you pose and ponder and are exploring indicate you would personally benefit from attending Al-Anon. Alcoholism is a disease classified by the American Medical Association.

I guess there is some misunderstanding about Alcoholics, Alcoholism, the disease concept, the addiction concept, etc.

I disagree that alcoholics are addicts. It's different and I'd described what I've learned and experienced on it here:

Quote:
Drug addicts and alcoholics are different. Anybody can be a drug addict. Anybody can be a non-addict. I'm addicted to coffee right now. If I quit, I'd suffer. But in time, I'd no longer be addicted to coffee. Same thing with heroin. If you took 100 people and pumped them with heroin for 30 days, you'd have 100 addicts. Remove the heroin. They all jones. Pump them with heroin again. The craving goes away. Not so with alcoholism. The craving in that disease increases. Some addictions such as Cocaine may be slightly similiar to alcohol- some are now finding.

You can't make an alcoholic out of a non- alky. You also can't make a non-alky out of an alky. These things are different. I guarantee you. Here's how you run this experiment; take a 100 people and put them in the Alcohol Hotel. Feed them alcohol for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After 30 days, tell them all they're free to go. 90 people will go running outta there. 10 people will want to sign a 30-year mortgage. Now take those ten people and take their alcohol away. They jones. Now give them their alcohol again. They feel relieved, but their craving starts there and grows from there.

Now that's just the physical part. The mental obsession is another part of the equation that requires what may look like an "addiction" to you; they keep going to meetings. Once in a while something works and they change in a positive way. AKA, they "taste the honey" and they go back for more. Some religious and/or church going people get this too, but not all. But the mental obsession is what tells you you're cured now and you can handle your booze. Meanwhile, the liver and other organs that would process the alcohol back into simple sugars for a normal person leave a residual of acetone in the alky and sets up a craving for more of the same. This process NEVER EVER occurs in the non-alky. The mental obsession for the addict may be similiar. Some talk about dopamines, endorphins, THIQ (supposedly present in alkies and heroin addicts), etc. The scientists are doing their stuff, but the things that haven't changed are alcohol, the alky, the recovery process.

The people in recovery that I know that "do the program" have no problem separating spirituality (saving your urse) from religion (saving your soul). The good thing about 12 step is that it crosses all bounds such as race, religion, politics, creeds, socio-economic status, orientation, age, gender, etc.
Now as to why some are alcoholics and other's aren't, I've described my experience and what I've learned here:

Quote:
We've been squishing grapes for 5000+ years (7500 years?) and regardless of the abuse of alcohol through the annuls of time, GOD has chose to keep a minimum of 10% of alkys in our fine population.

Most DO die out over time, but 10% remains for some reason. Maybe alky's are the only ones with the bawls to see the pure Truth-albeit, from time to time.

The Jewish and Italian culture have been around alcohol for so long, alcoholism is rare amongst them. Now, for Native Americans and the Eskimo, they've only seen the hard stuff (distilled whiskey brought to the Appalacians from Irish and Scottish immigrants) for like 300 years. They statistically have a very high death rate, even compared to those of European decent, such as myself. I have family who can handle their booze. Heredity is part of it. Not all, methinks.

Now, if you're referring to those binge drinkers from frat parties and the peer pressures of our youth, I refer to that as Amateur Night! Some of those, although not all alkys, will die for you! Some of them are what I'd call situational hard drinkers.

Read a book called Under The Influence. Take what you need, leave the rest.

Solomon spoke of alcoholism. Yet our experts here on CD seem to think it's a new phenomena. How Novel! Noah was one of my heroes. He had a little drinking problem, by the way. God loved him. May He love you too. Oh, Socrates? How did he die?
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,222 posts, read 4,768,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Robert, this is just speculation, but...

The Mediterranean is where alcohol originated. So over the course of time, the people there may have developed some sort of genetic predisposition to be less susceptible to alcohol addiction. When it got to the Northern areas and to the Native Americans, they hadn't developed this (if it even exists; as I said, just speculation). But it does make sense because people in that part of the world have had alcohol in their culture for much longer than the rest of the world.

I'm not putting Natives down but I've seen too many of them become real addicts very quickly. That's what causes me to believe that genetics plays a significant role in it.

I think that all of these factors come into play, and that they are all interrelated.
I think there could be some validity to your speculation... I know that Asians metabolize alcohol differently than your average white person.

As far as Native Americans, I'm thinking the alcoholism rate involves more socioeconomic issues and lack of opportunity/resources than anything else.
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