RE: a health dilemma

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 09:24:45 MST

>From: "Dickey, Michael F" <>

>It is an aspect of our liberalized paternalistic victim based
>society in the US now that has everyone thinking they are not
>responsible for their own actions. Even Alcoholics Anonymous
>teaches that alcoholism is a 'disease'. I am sure that people
>with multiple sclerosis would LOVE to just *decide* to not have it

I'd like to correct some misconceptions here.

MS is an autoimmune disease, it is caused by a genetic aberation
that causes the immune system to overreact to an innocuous

Contrary to popular misconception you do not become an alcoholic
simply by drinking alcohol even though it is an addictive
substance, you are born an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease with
a genetic basis.

We have alcoholic rats, they prefer alcohol to anything else, and
we have teetotaler rats, who won't touch the stuff. Guess what
happens if you extract a specific enzyme from the alcoholic rats
and inject it into the teetotaler rats? That's correct, the former
teetotaler rats become instant alcoholics.

Now someone with the proclivity to tolerate alcohol can develop a
dependance on the substance, in fact only people with a specific
genetic proclivity can. If someone with this proclivity does
develop a dependance then they have to make a conscious moral
decision to stop. There is considerable evidence that once a
dependance developes the individual remains sensitive to further
dependancy. I suspect a physiological change.

Tobacco is also an addictive substance, but as far as I know it
doesn't have a genetic proclivity. This means that it is hard to
stop but not impossible.


Extropy Institute,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
SBC/Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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