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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:27 pm 
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You forgot to explain why addiction always presents with many symptoms that are undisputedly recognized as diseases in themselves (MDD, OCD, Bi-polar disorder) just to name a few and many addicts I've met are already suicidal even in the earlier stages. I wish I still had the luxury of playing word games, but unfortunately I've seen too many people die even in my relatively small town that could have lived had they gotten medical attention for their disease.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:45 am 
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Not sure the connection. Uncontrolled tempers almost always present with hypertension (High Blood Pressure), promiscuity drastically increases likelihood of a Sexually Transmitted Diseases, over-eating frequently accompanies heart disease and type II diabetes... does this mean that bad temper, promiscuity and over-eating should be labelled "diseases"? Personally I don't think so.

Also, addiction does not ALWAYS present with other diagnosable diseases. There is no shortage of junkies who were perfectly normal and well-balanced before learning to like opiates too much. When they do laboratory addiction tests on animals, they don't sort through their rat bin to find the dysfunctional ones to make addicted. Rather they take normal healthy rats and dose them regularly with opiates (or other addictive substance) until the rats willingly dose themselves... often to the exclusion of food, exercise or social contact.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:18 am 
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Euph,

Lets look up what a 'disease' means:

Quote:
A disease or medical condition is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions, associated with specific symptoms and signs


Lets see. Does Opiate addiction fall in this category. It may or may not be an 'organism' (well it does come from a plant), and its definately associated with specific symptoms and signs.

Theres more:

Quote:
It may be caused by external factors, such as invading organisms, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases.


Well, I'd say injecting/snorting/swallowing/smoking an opiate is an external factor.

Even more:

Quote:
In human beings, "disease" is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories.


Hmmm.. opiate addiction can cause social problems, death and distress, deviant behavious, and they are all distinguishable categories.

Quote:
Illness and sickness are generally used as synonyms for disease. However, this term is occasionally used to refer specifically to the patient's personal experience of his or her disease. In this model, it is possible for a person to be diseased without being ill, (to have an objectively definable, but asymptomatic, medical condition), and to be ill without being diseased (such as when a person perceives a normal experience as a medical condition, or medicalizes a non-disease situation in his or her life). Illness is often not due to infection but a collection of evolved responses, sickness behavior, by the body aids the clearing of infection. Such aspects of illness can include lethargy, depression, anorexia, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, and inability to concentrate.


I think you get the point.


Source: Wikipedia

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:02 am 
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jamez70 wrote:
Euph,

Lets look up what a 'disease' means:

Quote:
A disease or medical condition is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions, associated with specific symptoms and signs


Lets see. Does Opiate addiction fall in this category. It may or may not be an 'organism' (well it does come from a plant), and its definately associated with specific symptoms and signs.


Actually the "organism" they are referring to is what gets the disease, not the disease itself. I agree addition manifests symptoms, the phrase I might question would be that impairs bodily functions. Those who choose to view addiction as a disease, specifically view it as a mental disease, which is to say a disease of the mind rather than the body. Noted physchiatrist Thomas Szasz has some interesting arguments maintaining that since, by definition, diseases work against the body... things classified as mental diseases or behavioral diseases cannot be actual diseases, but at most are metaphors for disease.

jamez70 wrote:
Theres more:

Quote:
It may be caused by external factors, such as invading organisms, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune diseases.


Well, I'd say injecting/snorting/swallowing/smoking an opiate is an external factor.


A bullet is also an external factor, yet gun shot wounds are not typically considered diseases. The main categories of disease are infectious diseases and hereditary or genetic diseases. Aberrant behaviors like addiction don't fit either category.

jamez70 wrote:
Even more:

Quote:
In human beings, "disease" is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted, or similar problems for those in contact with the person. In this broader sense, it sometimes includes injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, and atypical variations of structure and function, while in other contexts and for other purposes these may be considered distinguishable categories.


Hmmm.. opiate addiction can cause social problems, death and distress, deviant behavious, and they are all distinguishable categories.

I think you missed the point of your quote. They are saying that even when using an enlarged definition of "disease", sometimes conditions that cause extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death... using this enlarged definition... are categorized to be "diseases", while at other times, these conditions are distinguished from the "disease" category to be rather categorized as "injuries", "disabilities", disorders, "syndromes", "infections", "isolated symptoms", "deviant behaviors" or "atypical variations of structure and function". I merely stated my opinion that in the case of opiate addiction I feel that rather than categorize it as a "disease" it is more accurate and more useful to categorize it as a "deviant behavior"... more specifically, a "maladaptive behavior".

jamez70 wrote:

Quote:
Illness and sickness are generally used as synonyms for disease. However, this term is occasionally used to refer specifically to the patient's personal experience of his or her disease. In this model, it is possible for a person to be diseased without being ill, (to have an objectively definable, but asymptomatic, medical condition), and to be ill without being diseased (such as when a person perceives a normal experience as a medical condition, or medicalizes a non-disease situation in his or her life). Illness is often not due to infection but a collection of evolved responses, sickness behavior, by the body aids the clearing of infection. Such aspects of illness can include lethargy, depression, anorexia, sleepiness, hyperalgesia, and inability to concentrate.


I think you get the point.


Source: Wikipedia


This last quote focused on how the term "illness" is sometimes used to refer to actual disease and other times used to describe other discreet dysphoric states such as sleepiness and lethargy. Not sure it's relevance in the discussion of whether "disease" is the best label for opiate addiction.

In summation, it doesn't really matter to me if you... or whoever... choose to categorize opiate addiction as a "disease" or not. Actually, if it helps raise funds for research into treating opiate addiction... then I am actually all for it. However, personally I feel that the label "disease" frequently carries connotations that are not accurate for the syndrome of opiate addiction and that can, in some cases, work against the required motivational factors that drive an addict towards true and lasting recovery.


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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