Alcohol NA and Other Substance Addiction Questions focuses on whether drug addicts should drink alcohol and discusses the debate about whether addiction is a disease and if it can be cured.
People who are attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and are trying to stay clean are not supposed to drink alcohol. Sure, there are no ‘rules’ per se in NA or AA, but Narcotics Anonymous makes it very clear that they consider alcohol a drug and that substance abuse includes alcohol and drugs.
In the beginning of the meeting, there are a couple of passages read aloud, and one of them states very clearly that alcohol is a drug and believing otherwise has caused many addicts to go back out and relapse.
Whether you are an alcoholic or an addict, all drugs are essentially the same. Even if a person has never had a severe drinking problem, alcohol will usually lead a person back to their drug of choice. Alcohol impairs your judgment, so after a few drinks, you may not be able to stop yourself from putting other substances in your body.
I cannot tell anyone what to do and how to stay ‘clean’ or work a program, but it is my experience that all drugs are the same. I believe that trying to distinguish between drugs and alcohol is very dangerous; this is definitely part of what caused my last relapse.
Again, only YOU can decide what substances you are going to use or not use, but if you are trying to work a 12 step program through Narcotics Anonymous, it is very clear that alcohol is considered a drug and should be abstained from. If you can't stop drinking alcohol, NA meetings can help.
Yes. While it is obviously more likely that a person with the addiction genetics predisposition will have issues with drugs and alcohol, environmental factors play a huge part in addiction as well. Someone with the addiction gene for alcoholism or addiction will not ‘become’ an alcoholic or addict if they never pick up a drink or drug in their life.
On the other hand, someone who does not have this genetic addiction predisposition, but continues to abuse drugs and alcohol heavily, can alter their brain chemistry and can absolutely become an addict/alcoholic. It may take longer for a person without the predisposition to become truly addicted to a substance, but it can definitely happen.
If you subscribe to the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, then yes, an addiction is a disease and is incurable. It is progressive, and eventually fatal if left untreated. If you're unable to stop drinking, NA believes that alcohol is a drug and some kind of treatment is necessary.
Incurable does not mean it is not treatable. Through abstaining from alcohol and drugs one day at a time, and attending 12 step meetings and working the steps, addiction and alcoholism can be treated.
Once we stop drinking and using drugs, there are still a many other issues to deal with. A lot of people don’t understand why their life is not perfect once they stop drinking. I know I developed a lot of really bad habits and negative characteristics due to my drinking and drug use. Only through attending meetings, remaining abstinent, finding a higher power, and working the 12 steps does our life change.
You can think of it as your disease (alcoholism/addiction) being in remission while you are sober – this can last a lifetime if you put the work in. It is believed by many people, myself included, that once a person crosses that line from a normal drinker or drug user to an alcoholic or a drug addict, there is no going back. There is no curing the disease or taking it away, returning a person to normal drinking.
Alcoholism and substance abuse can be treated, but not ‘cured’ in the traditional sense.