Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Origins of the Alcoholic & Addictive Disease Myth

The disease concept of addiction originated with the temperance movement during the 19th century with a man named Dr. Benjamin Rush. Rush had speculated that those who drank alcohol excessively were 'diseased'. Dr Rush - whose deep anti-drug sentiments would eventually lead him on a passionate anti-alcohol crusade - used his disease idea to promote a prohibitionist political campaign. Interestingly enough, this very same Dr. Rush had also characterized several other medical disorders or diseases, including dishonesty, political dissent, and 'african-americanism' (i.e. being black).

The disease propaganda grew, and was endorsed by the newly established religious cult of A.A; which interpreted its 12-steps from the Oxford religious Group which had actually created this very same series of 'steps' for becoming free of sin.

The disease theory was heavily pushed by a devout 12-stepper named Marty Mann and backed by a dubious scientist by the name of E.M. Jellinek, who was happy to falsify research using a group of drunks who had been handpicked by Mann (the 12 stepper). He was later asked by officials of Yale University to refute these findings which had not stood up whatsoever to scientific scrutiny. However not before the disease theory was eagerly capitalized upon by the American Medical Association (AMA), setting the stage for what would become, and to this day remain, the multibillion dollar annual "treatment" industry.

To this day, the disease concept of addiction has not been supported by any factual research, and remains recognized by the DSM owing to the progressive semantic elasticity of major medical & public health organizations.

For more on the origins of the Dr. Rush's disease rhetoric & the multibillion dollar recovery industry, check out the following article:

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