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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?      Home login  
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 Frybreadpower
Joined: 10/10/2008
Msg: 1
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?Page 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I think that some people believe that labels in general are wrong. Do you think that labeling people drug addicts or alcoholics is wrong? If not, then who should label them - themselves, or professionals? I think it's counterproductive to wait for these addicts to label themselves, since denial is a huge part of addiction. On the other hand, what good are these labels anyway? Is someone who's addicted to drinking one beer a day an alcoholic just because they are addicted to drinking one beer a day? Are they an alcoholic just because they say they are (like in 12 Step groups)? It's a complicated issue. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?
 NotGorshkovAgain
Joined: 4/29/2009
Msg: 2
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 7:39:16 AM
All a "label" is is a description of some aspect of a person - and there's nothing wrong with it. The problem is when people act like the label *is* the person.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 3
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 8:28:03 AM
I think it's "wrong" to "label" an alcoholic as "lazy" or something, but to "label" someone (ie, use a word to describe them realistically) isn't a bad thing. But, as an alcoholic will tell you, "labelling" yourself is a powerful step toward recovery.

I think when people use the term "label" what people REALLY mean is "judgemental label".

When it becomes "wrong" to "label" someone is, say, when you have a friend who dated a girl you like, so you're angry at the girl, so you "label" her s lut for sleeping with HIM.
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 4
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 8:30:49 AM
Umm, you're not ADDICTED to drinking one beer a day. That's just nonsense, and every alcoholic, and every addict, and everybody who knows anything about addiction knows this.
 Frybreadpower
Joined: 10/10/2008
Msg: 5
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 8:50:50 AM
Most alcoholics are not physically addicted to alcohol, they are mentally addicted. With that in mind, I see no difference between someone who is "addicted" to one beer a day, compared to someone who is "addicted" to 6 beers a day, assuming that neither of them are physically addicted. Just saying. -Daniel
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 6
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 8:57:36 AM

Most alcoholics are not physically addicted to alcohol, they are mentally addicted.

Here's a man unclear on the concept.
An alocoholic BE DEFINITION is physically addicted to the alcohol.


With that in mind, I see no difference between someone who is "addicted" to one beer a day, compared to someone who is "addicted" to 6 beers a day, assuming that neither of them are physically addicted.

Well, then, yes, if you "label" someone as an alkie when they drink ONE beer a day, yes, YOU are being unfair, OP.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 7
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 10:31:28 AM

Most alcoholics are not physically addicted to alcohol, they are mentally addicted. With that in mind, I see no difference between someone who is "addicted" to one beer a day, compared to someone who is "addicted" to 6 beers a day, assuming that neither of them are physically addicted. Just saying. -Daniel
With all due respect, Daniel.. where are you getting your information?

It's easy to see that alcoholism is both physical and "mental" (or psychological) If you've ever witnessed a severe alcoholic go through withdrawl and detox, then you'd understand where the physical addiction is present.

.. After the physical effects of the "drug" are clensed from the system, then the alcoholic must deal with the more harder part. . the psychological withdrawl. It's just like quitting smoking.. it takes about a week for all nicotine to leave your system.. after that.. it's sheer will-power until eventually thoughts of the substance don't overtake you.

Having one beer a day is a ritual.. it is not at addiction, it does not disrupt normal day to day routine and by having one beer a day you would not be harming yourself or others.

On edit:
Addictions can be temporary conditions. In my opinion, someone who accepts a label based on their condition will have a harder time getting well and moving on.
That's just a form of denial. You heal quicker when you accept that it is, what it is and then deal.

.. My 02 cents worth.

 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 8
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 11:09:10 AM
What's with the objection to "labels?" I'm female. That's a label. I'm Caucasian. That's a label. I'm a dancer. That's a label. I'm a musician. That's a label. People tell me I'm intelligent and friendly. Those are labels.

Any noun or adjective can be a label. They are words we use to describe ourselves and each other. As with all words, they can be accurate or inaccurate.

I've never understood this objection to "labels." It comes off as childish to my ears.

Some people have a problem with alcohol. They are unable to control themselves around it and it interferes with their lives. We call those people alcoholics. They often call themselves alcoholics. What's the big deal?

The term "alcoholic," or "female," or "musician," or any other term you are focusing on at the moment, is not the entire definition of someone's life and is not necessarily a limiting factor. It is one of many aspects of a person's life.

I think I'm going to over to the "pet peeves" thread and add objection to the use of "labels" as one of my pet peeves.
 coveredinpaint
Joined: 7/13/2009
Msg: 9
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 2:08:13 PM
If the person actually is an addict then it is okay to call them that and treat them that way accordingly. A lot of people get into trouble by thinking these are just regular people under adverse circumstances. But when dealing with people with addiciton problems, you are never really seeing the person, just the addict. The worst part is that the addict makes himself look like a person to confuse you so that he can better manipulate the world to fuel his addiction.

I say, call a spade a spade.
 Frybreadpower
Joined: 10/10/2008
Msg: 10
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 2:22:47 PM
Wishes, you just asked me where I get my information from... AA. Most AA members were never physically addicted to alcohol. Go to an AA meeting and ask the "alcoholics" there if they ever had delirium tremens, and you'll see for yourself. What I take from that is that either: A. most people in AA aren't alcoholics or B. your definition of an alcoholic is different from AA's definition.

Http://www.orange-papers.org

-Daniel

P.S. I personally think the label "alcoholic" is useless, because there are moral conotations that go along with it. I would rather have people use the term "heavy drinker", but that's just me being nit-picky.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 11
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 2:43:27 PM
Denial aint just a river.
If you ask any alcoholic if they replaced their need for alcohol in thier body with chocolate .. (or some other substitute) until it was completely out of their system they will tell you yes, they did. They will also tell you they hurt physicall while they detoxed. Just because they didn't have DT's doesn't mean their body wasn't addicted. All it means is that they didn't poisen themselves enough for them to occur.

That I know of; No rehab will take an alcoholic unless they've been through detox. Detox means that the stuff in their body has had a chance to dicipate. They're through the physical part and now they're ready to work on the psychological.

P.S.
If you tell someone they are a "heavy drinker" aren't you labelling them as well?
 LiliMarleen
Joined: 5/24/2009
Msg: 12
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 3:51:02 PM
OP, you have serious misconceptions about AA, and in my opinion, are mostly trying to defend your denial about your own drinking.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 13
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 6:27:43 PM
As UglySpinsterCrone mentioned in Msg 5, it helps alcoholics and drug addicts to admit they are addicted. It means they have a serious lifelong problem that they need to start dealing with. However, it doesn't help to label them as lazy or something similar. I've met quite a few alcoholics, and talked to them. They all had horrific childhoods from their family, schizohprenic parents, parents that beat them daily, bar one. He was a middle-class child in an island of alcoholics who was constantly criticised by his parents. By age 12, he was drinking every day, just to rebel against his parents and because that's what the other kids did, and no, his parents didn't do anything much about it. All in all, I'd say that if you met an alcoholic or a drug addict, the odds are that he/she had an extremely troubled childhood, and is in need of major therapy. The alcohol and/or drugs are just there to numb the pain.
 geeleebee
Joined: 5/26/2008
Msg: 14
Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/2/2010 8:20:04 PM

Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?


You mean...like 'alcoholic' and 'addict'?

I guess we could nice it up--'My son just has a little craving every few hours for an illegally obtained substance that he likes to shovel up his nose.'

Yeah--I guess that's better than, 'My son is a coke addict.'

The label is the problem with which he struggles--the person has a name.
 cotter
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 15
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/3/2010 9:32:49 AM

All a "label" is is a description of some aspect of a person - and there's nothing wrong with it.
So "Conservative"/"Republican"/"Neocon" ... is nothing more than just some "aspect" of that person. But what if it dominates them ... rules them ... actually influences just every part of their life?

The problem is when people act like the label *is* the person.
I've known plenty of "Conservative"/"Republican"/"Neocon" people and they really are through and through "the person" ... snotty, arrogant, opinionated, sneering, greedy ... oh and ... always right.

For example, I have never known/dated a "Conservative"/"Republican"/"Neocon" man who wasn't just as I described above. They don't just "act" like the label, they truly are like that ... through and through.


Is it wrong to label drug addicts or alcoholics like we do?
I don't think so ... because as a nurse I dealt with many of them in situations while working in a local jail (in Ohio and in Florida) and they all label themselves as such ... identify themselves as such.

Addicts and Alcoholics as well ... all seem to have the same sort of personalities that go with their particular problem to begin with, so when we treat their addictions, we also have to address the personality disorder as well ... in therapy sessions.

As for the "Conservative"/"Republican"/"Neocon" ... therapy sessions might do them some good as well.
 platypus_man
Joined: 8/29/2007
Msg: 16
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/4/2010 2:09:16 AM
I really think it depends on what the label means to YOU. There are plenty of quite successful people who are also alcoholics and/or drug addicts, I know several. Their addiction doesn't interfere with much of their lives, but after they come home from work, they hit the booze/pipe/spoon/whatever is their pleasure. They know it's not healthy, but they can't give up the high/low/delusional haze or whatever they experience from it. As far as I'm concerned, as long as they limit it to their own time, who cares. The problem is, that society never sees these people unless their life goes out of control. So the only image we have of drug and alcohol users is of the useless bum or thief or the lier who abuses their friends and family. Want to see how many alcoholics you really have in your neighborhood? Take a wander through when the recycling buckets are out there and see how many hard liquor and/or beer and wine bottles are in there every week. I think you'll be surprised. All those liquor stores aren't staying in business by selling lottery tickets.
 Strings6
Joined: 7/14/2007
Msg: 17
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Is it wrong to label drug addicts and alcoholics like we do?
Posted: 2/4/2010 5:52:14 PM
if by "loved" you mean all the pain and misery they bring others being tolerated or accepted then no they shouldn't be...when those other addictions you mentioned start killing people on the highway and commiting crimes then you might have a point.
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