Common parlance talks about drug and alcohol abuse as a disease, and labels these problems as “addictions” and “alcoholism”. This relatively modern lingo has entered our vocabulary in the 1930s, with the infestation of psychobabble.
Drug addiction has become an epidemic in our country, especially in Bucks County, PA. Drug counseling advocates have been calling for increasing places for treating this problem. The problem with calling it a disease is that it absolves the doper of responsibility for his behavior. It’s to say it’s not his fault.
“Alcoholism” and “addictions” are simply sin. “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” — I Corinthians 15:34. “The primary problem is moral and spiritual, not medical, and cannot be addressed without that perspective,” wrote Franklin E. Payne, Jr., M.D. ,Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, Georgia.
The first step in the local 12 Steps Journey I participate in calls for people with drug, alcohol and other problems to own up to them:
“Step One- We admitted we were powerless over the effects of our separation from GOD-that our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Rom. 7:18)”
When we realize we have to admit our character flaws and seek God’s help, we are on the path to recovery.
Modern psychology doesn’t understand the real cause of behavioral problems and doesn’t know the right way to treat them. Dr. Payne explains “I have yet to see any patient’s chart with the diagnosis of ‘depression’ with reference to criteria that would fit any formal definition, such as the DSM-III-R. Yet, millions of patients carry this label and receive potent medications based upon this slipshod approach. Both the label and the medications have great potential for harm, as well as good. Further, such imprecision applies to virtually every area of medicine, not just psychiatric diagnoses. (A discussion of this ‘mal-practice,’ however, would require another paper in itself.)”
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men, can’t put broken people back together again.
Defining drunkenness, drug abuse and other problems as a disease holds back recovery. If you have a true disease, such a sinusitis, you can take antibiotics. You can’t cure negative behaviors with dope.
The lyrics “Everything you think, do and say
Is in the pill you took today” in the 60’s song In the Year 2525 is not where it’s at, man!
Nor is Penndel Mental Health Center, which I’ve surmised apes the culture indicted in the song. Don’t go there or else you’ll wind up with PMS (Penndel Mentalhealth Syndrome).
Jesus is the great healer. There is hope when you confess your sins and seek His counsel.