Alcoholism is not curable because the person’s control has been impaired already, alcoholics has no power to resist drinking alcohol. Robert Rakel defined alcoholism as “a medical disease characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with alcohol, and continued use of alcohol despite a pattern of compelling reason to stop.…” (Rakel, p. 586).
Rakel’s definition of alcohol describes alcoholism as incurable in view of the person’s impaired control over drinking. That is, despite of the compelling reasons to stop drinking, alcoholic cannot simply quit from drinking alcohol. Alcoholism could be comparable to AIDS virus. AIDS virus attacked the immune defense system of the human body making it incurable. In alcoholism the person’s control is impaired making alcoholism incurable. Unlike any other chronic disease that can be treated medically, alcoholism is a chronic disease that cannot be treated by medication. Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. The cravings for alcohol compel the alcoholic to drink ruinously, as alcoholics have lost control of his use of alcohol. He is powerless against his craving for alcohol making this disease not curable.
While some advertisements claim that alcoholism is treatable, the only way for this disease to be treated is by abstention from alcohol as there are no medical treatments proven to be effective in treating alcoholism. The fact is, most of the recommended treatments for alcoholic are nonmedical related treatment coming from various support groups for recovery from alcoholism. Furthermore, alcoholics who sought the help of this support groups does not get any treatment aside from encouragement and moral and spiritual support. The main treatment is by abstinence from alcohol and the individual members of these support groups who were themselves alcoholics provide the moral and spiritual support.
The main reason why alcoholism is not curable or treatable is that alcoholics refuse to recognize that they were alcoholics. In the first place, even if there are medications for alcoholics they could not be cured because they do not recognize they are sick. Given this notion, alcoholism as disease is a moral weakness rather physical weakness. Alcoholics’ condition is untreatable by physicians. Alcoholism as moral weakness cannot be treated by any kind of drug medication nor the loss of control over alcohol can be medically cured. In fact even those who are recovering from alcoholism through abstinence and by the help of support groups such as the twelve-step model of AA anonymous, are still prone to relapse as the person’s alcoholism remains. This is exactly the case of the founder of AA anonymous by the name of D. Bob. According to his testimony in AA so called big book, Dr. Bob’s first tastes for being alcoholics came during his four years in college. According to him, he was “graduated summa cum laude” in the eyes of his drinking fraternity. His drinking habit continued even when he got a work in which he pointed out, “I drank as much as my purse permitted.”
To make his testimony short, upon realizing his condition, he did all his best, and even the hospital he was working and his father as well did their best to help him recover from his being alcoholic, but it keeps resurging in him. His craving for alcohol would even compel him to send for his friends to smuggle him a quart or he would steal the alcohol about the building.
Despite of all the effort to help, his mind was preoccupied of drinking alcohol and despite of his own attempts to quit, he was unable to do so. In the end, Dr. Bob admits that alcoholism cannot be cured nor be treatable by medical treatments or by just any human means. He was cured through spiritual approach which is not by any means a medical treatment nor a human effort.