Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I agree we don't substantially disagree.  

Something may be incurable and still be a disease.  Otherwise you'd have to say bubonic plague only became a disease when antibiotics were discovered.  My point was: alcoholism has a physical component that must be addressed, solved, for the intervention to be better than the "cure" rate of a placebo.

This is not to say the "Mind" side is irrelevant.  It seems to (un-professional me :-) the evidence strongly suggests alcoholism is a Mind/Brain disease and needs to be attacked with psychological as well as physical intervention. At a minimum, as you rightly pointed-out, the patient has to have the Willpower to take the damn pill.  Something, BTW, not limited to alcoholics; in the US people are being forceably hospitalized for tuberculous since it has been proven enough patients don't take the full course of medication, they relapse, and TB is starting to develop resistance to antibiotics because of this.  

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

by ATinNM on Fri Dec 31st, 2010 at 04:29:00 PM EST
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my reasons for resisting the "alcoholism as disease" framing are not limited to the lack of efficacy of the medical paradigm, although that would be a major reason.

The "learned behaviour disorder" framing emphasises the fact that like all behaviours, learned behaviours can be unlearned and thus behaviour modification techniques, personal motivation, social interactions, institutional supports and alternative exemplars, mentoring and leadership take centre stage. Behaviour is not reducible to biochemistry even though the latter can of course be a major component of it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 31st, 2010 at 09:34:36 PM EST
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