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The medicalisation of addiction treatment has been a failure the world over, and better drugs, even if they help that situation will do nothing to address the economic, social, psychological, personal and cultural factors which can also contribute to addiction of various kinds.

Every disease, e.g., alcoholism, has "economic, social, psychological, personal and cultural factors."  Once a person is infected with cholera, say, giving them a job isn't going do a bit of good; neither is a heavy duty dose of "talky-talk" psychological therapy.  Cholera needs to be treated by replacing fluids and salts and a course of antibiotics.

Alcoholism has the special kicker that the person having the disease is the vector of the disease.  Interestingly, there seems to be a population with a neurological predisposition for alcoholism; anecdotal evidence (insert caveats as to the low  quality of such!) informs us some people become alcoholics after one drink, even if they dislike the taste of alcohol.  Other people require a continuous, long term, exposure to alcohol before developing the disease.  This is in-line with other diseases like cholera were some people are quickly overwhelmed by the bacteria while others can resist the bacteria for some time before developing symptoms.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 31st, 2010 at 01:54:18 PM EST
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