At a recent visit to my ophthalmologist he asked what I did and I told him I was a journalist. He said, “What do you write about?” which is often what I am asked when I tell someone my profession. My response is, “addition and alcoholism.”  Inevitably, the individual has someone close to them suffering from the one or both of the afflictions. Even my eyelash extension lady (Yes, I finally got them and am loving them.) told me about her daughter who has struggled for years with addiction. (It gave Sally, the eyelash extension expert, and I something very interesting to talk about for the hour.)

Back to my ophthalmologist–his response was not about someone’s addiction or alcohol problem but, “This business about alcoholism and addiction being diseases is a bunch of bunk. Give me your email address and I will sent y0u an article from The Atlantic which debunks AA and the the idea of alcoholism as a disease.”

Here is the link to that article: The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective.”

Just recently I ran across this article in the Salina Journal which argues that addiction is indeed a disease: Drug addiction, alcoholism are diseases, not character flaws: “Addiction is a chronic illness, not a character flaw or moral failing. Stigma and shame have kept people from seeking help and weakened public investment.”

And finally: I, once again, submit my argument which I wrote while attending the University of British Columbia School of Journalism for my Master of Journalism: Addiction: A Disease Not Choice