QUESTION: Once a person is an
addict / alcoholic, are they addicted for the rest of
ANSWER: Yes. The simple way to understand this is by using a simple picture. I
was born a cucumber. I drank myself to the point of being a pickle. I do not ever get to
become a cucumber again. This disease goes to sleep with abstinence, but it can be
awakened at any time.
QUESTION: My spouse keeps telling me that he/she is trying to stop using,
what does that mean exactly?
ANSWER: It is my opinion that the word try has no action. While practicing
addiction, life is black and white. We do not try to get clean and sober. Either we
are or we are not. This is no middle ground while using drugs and alcohol.
Alcoholics are those excessive drinkers whose
dependence on alcohol has attained such a degree that they show a noticeable mental
disturbance or an interference with their mental and bodily health, their interpersonal
relations and their smooth social and economic functioning; or who show the prodromal
signs of such developments. They therefore require TREATMENT.
- World Health Organization, 1951
ALCOHOLISM is an illness characterized by
preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead
usually to intoxication if drinking; by chronicity; by progression and by a tendency to
relapse. It is typically associated with physical disability and impaired emotional,
occupational and/or social adjustments as a direct consequence of persistent excessive
use. . .in short, alcoholism is regarded as a type of drug dependence of pathological
extent and pattern, which ordinarily interferes seriously with the patients total
health and his/her adaptation to his/her environment.
- American Medical Association, 1956
An alcoholic is one who is unable consistently to
choose whether he/she shall drink or not and who, if he/she drinks, is usually unable
consistently to choose whether he shall stop or not.
- Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies
ALCOHOLISM is a two-fold diseasean allergy
of the body coupled with an obsession of the mind.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, 1935
Among all sources of disease, alcohol stands preeminent as a destroyer
pestilent principle generally seeks for asylum where it may practice its deadliest deeds
in some important and vital organ of the body. It sometimes makes the brain more
particularly the seat of its venom, and victim of its cruelties. At another time, it hides
itself in the inmost recess of the heart, or coils around it like a serpent; now it fixes
upon the lungs; now upon the kidneys, upon the liver, the bladder, the pancreas, the
intestines or the skin. It can agitate the heart until it throbs and bursts, or it can
reduce pulsation until it become impalpable. It can distract the head until the brain
sweats blood, and horrified reason flies away and leaves the man a maniac or a
I never knew a person become insane who was not in the habit of taking a
portion of alcohol daily.
- Benjamin Parson, an English
In Anti-Bacchus: An essay on Crimes,
Diseases, and Other Evils Connected
With the Use of Intoxicating Drinks, 1840.