Thank you for the balanced exposition by Beverly Beyette on "Alcoholism: Is It Really a Disease?" This is a topic requiring further study and development in the public press.
An area of concern to me is diagnosis of alcoholism. If we assume for the purpose of discussion that at least some people suffer from a disease called alcoholism, what are the symptoms of that disease and how can it be differentiated from other maladaptive uses of alcohol, such as the relief of anxiety, avoidance of reality and a need to anesthetize emotional pain?
I am aware of several instances when costly alcohol rehabilitation program personnel assume a diagnosis of alcoholism each time a potential patient presents him/herself for admission, without further question. People may have reasons for entering such a program other than a disease called alcoholism.
Many highly reputed alcohol rehabilitation programs claim to follow the Alcoholic Anonymous model, but careful examination will reveal they deviate from that model in substantive ways. They are guilty of misrepresentation.