RE: Addiction (was "a health dilemma")

From: Dickey, Michael F (
Date: Mon Jan 21 2002 - 11:20:43 MST

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian D Williams []
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 11:25 AM
Subject: RE: a health dilemma

"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. "


Do the genes that create a propensity for alchoholism also enable your
brain, subconcioussly of course, to A) recognize an alchoholic beverage
B)reach a hand out and grasp it C) bring it toward your mouth D)swallow it?
Or, at some point in time, are you concioussly aware of these things going
on. Even being an alchoholic, even being born with the genetic
predisposition to alchoholism (which is more a genetic predisposition to
addictive behavior) you can still CHOOSE to not drink, its as simple as
that. Can a person with MS CHOOSE not to have MS? I dont think so.

"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."

Thats great, fascinating and interesting, and would apply if we were rats.
But we are not, we are people, people who are aware of thier actions and
thier choices, people who have free will. Rats, when in stressed confined
situations can resort to cannibalism. Does that mean people will too?
Primates exhibit what is known as the 'Elevator effect' when in stressed
confined conditions. They are all calm and polite to one another, which,
surprisingly enough, is how human's behave as well. Just cause a Rat does
something, does not mean a person will.

"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."


There is also considerable evidence that if someone, no matter how addicted
to something, chooses to stop doing it, he (or she) can. That evidence
being the multitude of people who have stopped doing something they are
addicted to doing by just deciding that they no longer want to do it. We
can, after all 'decide' to stop eating.

IMHO that is...


Unless expressly stated otherwise, this message is confidential and may be privileged. It is intended for the addressee(s) only. Access to this E-mail by anyone else is unauthorized. If you are not an addressee, any disclosure or copying of the contents of this E-mail or any action taken (or not taken) in reliance on it is unauthorized and may be unlawful. If you are not an addressee, please inform the sender immediately.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:35 MST