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Alcoholism is an Invisible, Violent and Dominant Belief System


 
 
In 1946, E. M. Jellinik, the man credited with naming Alcoholism as a disease, wrote:
 
“Alcoholism is any use of alcoholic beverages that causes any damage to the individual or to society or to both.”
 
Four years later, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined Alcoholism as:
 
“Any form of drinking which in extent goes beyond the tradition and customary ‘dietary’ use, or the ordinary compliance with the social drinking customs of the community concerned, irrespective also of the extent to which such etiological factors are dependant upon heredity, constitution, or acquired physio-pathological and metabolic influences.”
 
In 1968, the American Psychiatric Association, Committee on Nomenclature and Statistic, wrote:
 
“Alcoholism: this category is for patients whose alcohol intake is great enough to damage their physical health, or their personal or social functioning.”
 
In 1977, The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote: 
 
“Alcoholism is an illness characterised by significant impairment that is directly associated with persistent and excessive use of alcohol. Impairment may involve physiological, psychological or social dysfunction.”
 
In 2020, Lee Davy of 1000 Days Sober, wrote:
 
“Alcoholism is not an illness, malady or describer of how much alcohol a person has imbibed. Alcoholism is an invisible, violent and dominant belief system. It’s violent because it kills 3.3 million people, annually, and needs men with muscles on the door of every pub and club that sells the stuff. It’s dominant, because more adults have tried alcohol than have not. It’s invisible, because despite these facts, it’s the only drug where people are encouraged to consume it in large amounts, and ridiculed, shamed and ostracised when they don’t. Unfortunately,  had anyone in the 60s and 70s spoke up about this they would have likely had to include themselves as perpetrators of this belief system, and so it was easier to make scapegoats of the people who struggle the most.”
 
Photo by Jake Bradley on Unsplash