Essay Alcoholism: a Disease or an Addiction?

1888 Words Sep 29th, 1999 8 Pages
Most people have a confused idea of alcoholism as a disease that invades or attacks your good health. Use of such a strong word such as "disease" shapes the values and attitudes of society towards alcoholics. A major implication of the disease concept is that what is labeled a "disease" is held to be justifiable because it is involuntary. This is not so. Problem drinking is a habit in which the so-called "alcoholic" simply has decided that the benefits of drinking outweigh the liabilities; it is all a matter of personal choice. An alcoholic participates in or causes many of their own problems by their behavior and the decisions they make, so why should they be viewed as helpless victims of a "disease"(Skipper 1)? Alcoholism should not be …show more content…
<br>"Disease" is the powerful word that generates provision of health insurance payments, employment benefits such as paid leave and workmen's compensation, and other government benefits. The direct and indirect cost of alcoholism is rapidly increasing, already exceeding a billion dollars annually (Fingarette 51). According to government statistics, the largest single area of economic loss at $9.35 billion, is the lost production of goods and services that can be attributed to the reduced productivity of alcohol-troubled male workers (Claypool 39). In addition, cost to society on alcoholics' health care expenditures alone already total to $18,820 million dollars (Cost 1). Health insurance companies are paying for these treatments of alcoholics as if they actually had a disease. This means the United States actually has to pay more for their health insurance - health insurance that should not be provided at the cost of the American public. . This is an absurd amount of money to be spending on alcoholics, people who preferred to take the path of drinking to the extent that they became addicted.

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