If I were to create a word that more accurately describes alcoholism and addiction, I would say it was dependencyism. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Yet it’s no sillier than the word alcoholism. The reason alcoholism no longer sounds silly to you is because you’re used to hearing it, reading it, and thinking about it.
How do you think your body and mind would respond if you were surrounded by psychologists, psychiatrists, or drug and alcohol counselors who subscribed to the belief that "once an alcoholic or addict, always an alcoholic or addict" and who believed that your current stay in rehab would be one of many?
If you can stop using substance or stop your addictive behavior for extended periods of time without craving, you are not dependent. You are dependent only if you can't stop without physical or psychological distress (you have unpleasant physical and/or psychological withdrawal symptoms) or if you stop and then relapse.
People who are dependent are merely using alcohol as a crutch to get through the day. Yet doctors and scientists are still treating "alcoholism" as if it is the problem, when it has nothing to do with the problem. They might as well be studying "scratchism" for people who have a chronic itch.
Think about the stigma that is attached to the idea that alcoholism is a disease, an incurable illness, and you have it. That's a terrible thing to inflict on someone. Labeling alcoholism as a disease, a cause unto itself, simply no longer fits with what we know today about its causes.
It's the causes, not the dependent person, that must be corrected. That's why I see the United States' War on Drugs as being fought in an unrealistic manner. This war is focused on fighting drug dealers and the use of drugs here and abroad, when the effort should be primarily aimed at treating and curing that causes that compel people to reach for drugs.
Whether the underlying cause of your dependency is a chemical imbalance, unresolved events from the past, beliefs you hold that are inconsistent with what is true, an inability to cope with current conditions, or a combination of these four causes, know this: not only are all the causes of dependency within you, but all the solutions are within you as well.
The advertise their products in such a fashion as to make it seem wonderful to drink their ethanol products. It does not matter if they give their products fancy name like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, or if they put bubbles in an ethanol product and call it champagne or beer- everyone is selling ethanol.
If those underlying conditions aren't treated, the return of those symptoms may cause us so much discomfort that we'll go back to using addictive drugs or alcohol to obtain relief. That's the primary reason there is such a high rate of relapse among people who have become dependent of alcohol and addictive drugs. It has little to do with alcohol and addiction themselves and almost everything to do with the original causes that created the dependency.
We recognize that you've used substances to try to regain your lost balance, to try to feel the way you did before the need arose to use addictive drugs or alcohol. We know that you use substances to alter your mood, to cover up your sadness, to ease your heartbreak, to lighten your stress load, to blur your painful memories, to escape your hurtful reality, or to make your unbearable days or nights bearable.
...there is a saying used in twelve-step programs and in most treatment centers that "Relapse is part of recovery." It's another dangerous slogan that is based on a myth, and it only gives people permission to relapse because that think that when they do, they are on the road to recovery.