The Instigator
Gypsy-magick
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mestari
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Addiction is NOT a "disease"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,989 times Debate No: 17814
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

Gypsy-magick

Pro

I am stanch against any person who believes any form of addiction is a disease.I am aware of the definition and not confused between the two people who mis label themselves with a drug addiction compared to someone with a true disease(such as cancer) the difference is the person does not go looking for a "quick chemo" fix.
The persons who are addicted CHOSE to do that to themselves and do not get my sympathy they do not suddenly have a affliction stemming from genetic disorder,or working in hazard conditions the people who label a drinking problem,drug addiction as a "disease" are in fact saying I'm a junkie,bar fly (etc)smooth over the truth in a measured amount. It was enacted as a buffer for those who needed higher self esteem without the feelings of shame.
Mestari

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for instigating what I hope to be and interesting debate and would like to wish her luck.

Framework

First, as my opponent has opted not to offer definitions, I offer the following:

1. Addiction [1]: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful
2. Disease [2]: a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms

For the remainder of my speech I will first attack my opponent's case and then propose my own.

Rebuttal

"the difference is the person does not go looking for a 'quick chemo' fix."

I'm sorry, but what are you trying to say? That cancer patients do not look for quick fixes and thus addiction is not a disease?

"The persons who are addicted CHOSE to do that to themselves and do not... suddenly have a affliction stemming from genetic disorder"

"The risk of addiction is in part inherited. Genetic factors, for example, account for about 40% of the risk of alcoholism." Addiction is not always voluntary. It may, at times, be a disease afflicted through genetics.

Furthermore, many people who have STDs who arguably received them because they "chose" not to use proper protection during sexual intercourse. By your logic, STDs are in fact not diseases because they may not be genetic. What about diseases that you catch during your lifetime wthat don't have genetic causes? Are they not diseases either?

In essence, why are genetics intrinsic to the definition of disease?

"It was enacted as a buffer for those who needed higher self esteem without the feelings of shame."

1. What evidence do you have that this is true?
2. If this is true, does that mean all labels designed to psychologically alter perception nullify the status of having a disease?
3. Why does having low self-esteem mean that you cannot have a disease?

Case

C1: Definitional Proof

1. Diseases "impairs normal functioning"
2. Addictions are "physically, psychologically, or socially harmful"
- Our muscle's normal functions are hindered when physically harmed. Our mind's normal functions are hindered when psychologically harmed. Our normal functions as citizens are hindered when socially harmed. Thus,
3. Addictions are definitionally diseases.

It is illogical to say that a disease is not a disease, thus is it also illogical to say that an addiction is not a disease.

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Gypsy-magick

Pro

First let me clarify the definition I believe to cause "addiction" alcohol - drug usage and cigarettes(since I smoke therefor I am addicted to them.I also drank so I speak from my own experience.I drank 13 yrs ago and never touched it after I quite on my own.For sake of argument alcoholism runs in my family.I have no desire to drink either
"the difference is the person does not go looking for a 'quick chemo' fix."
This is easy to understand When person I'll call subject(A) walks in for a radiation treatment they understand full well there'll be certain risks(hair loss what comes to my mind) yet they accept knowing heir life depends on it other wise they may die plus the quality of their life is diminishes based on my second hand information.Now subject I'll call(b)could be perfectly healthly otherwise is driven by feelings now they might be out of this world trips(FEELINGS alone) to he drunk they drink for many a reasons to forget-job loss-you should get the picture by now all this is brought on by self do they really need this to survive??? ask yourself this first will they die without this ? this is the difference between a cancer patient and the local drug addict most professionals will tell you this that they suffer from a "disease" well take our as they consume year after year well they now have siroccos of the liver(yes this now is a "disease" could this have been prevented? by sheer will power by overcoming the feeling they achieved from being out of control? or was there a gene that forced them to drink out of control? remember my opening statement)

I'm sorry, but what are you trying to say? That cancer patients do not look for quick fixes and thus addiction is not a disease?
Mestari

Con

Definitions

1. Addiction

My opponent never refutes the definition of what an addiction is but rather offers an interpretation of what she "believe[s] to cause 'addiction[.]'"

Whether the addiction a person has is to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else has nothing to do with the status of an addiction as a disease. The resolution is not about the causes of addictions being a disease, but if addictions themselves are.

2. Disease

My opponent never refuted my definition of disease either, so we must assume she accepts it as well.

Case

With both definitions agreed upon, I would like to draw attention back to my first contention. My opponent never addresses my case in her rebuttal, so we must assume that it is conceded as true. Even if we don't, the logic still stands that addictions are, by definition, diseases. This dropped argument will provide the judges with an independent reason to negate the resolution.

Rebuttal

1. Personal Experience

Personal experience is nice and all, but you have yet to disprove the facts that I presented within the last round about genetics accounting for 40% of the risk of alcoholism. We haven't seen medical verification that you are gentically prone to alcoholism either, and even if we are made aware of this evidence, it doesn't prove that you can resist addiction in all cases.

2. Cancer Patient

I'm sorry but I am having a hard time following this example. Okay, so sometimes addicts of drugs and alcohol take actions for a quick fix. How does this make their addiction any less of a disease? This is the effect of their addiction, this is what the disease makes them do. You talk about how people take these actions on feelings alone, but, once again, have yet to disprove that genetic factors are involved. Even so, why can't diseases be caused by emotional instability?

Broken Heart Syndrome is caused by emotional distress [1].

"Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition brought on by stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they're having a heart attack. These broken heart syndrome symptoms may be brought on by the heart's reaction to a surge of stress hormones. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn't pump well, while the remainder of the heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions."

Now I ask my opponent, why is it that when real consequences are taking place, Broken Heart Syndrome would not be considered a disease?

3. Siroccos

Sure, siroccos is disease caused by addiction to certain drugs. However, the addiction to these drugs is also a disease. You asked if ther was a gene that forces people to become alcoholics, and I would just like to remind you of my evidence that there is.

Conclusion

1. Addictions are definitionally diseases. This is dropped and an independent reason to negate.
2. My opponent's case relies on there being a lack of genetic causes to addiction, but does not disprove my cited evidence that genetics are, in fact, involved. Even without this evidence my opponent fails to prove that emotionally-caused addictions are not diseases.
3. Remember however, that based on the wording of the resolution we are not debating whether the cause of addictions are diseases but if addictions are diseases themselves. If drugs and alcohol do not cause addictions, that is not a reason why addictions are not diseases and you can still negate.

References

1. http://www.mayoclinic.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Gypsy-magick

Pro

To refresh my answer Addiction (depending on the individual) may be any compulsive act repeated over and over.
Now I ask my opponent, why is it that when real consequences are taking place, Broken Heart Syndrome would not be considered a disease?
My answer having a "broken heart is not a disease " the heart itself before some emotionally feeling arose was perfect does not make for a disease one simply can't be defined a a real disease.then we could say a compulsive hoarder who refuses to part with anything' if you pick apart the underlying cause you may find this person has an emotional disorders NOT technically a disease but rather a set of imbalances due to a traumatic occurrence that must be corrected or rewired in order to release these habits.
http://www.schaler.net...
http://www.thecleanslate.org...
This physical change of state is balanced by the arguments that addiction is simply an unwanted behavior, a behavior that doesn't fit the traditional idea of what a disease is. At some point before it becomes a condition over which a person has no control, addiction involves choice and human free will. To that end, it cannot possibly be categorized along with conditions such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or other neurological diseases.The question is an important one because both medical treatment and insurance reimbursement are diagnosis driven. Standards of care are drawn up based on recognized disease states. Insurance companies make decisions on what they will cover by looking at standard treatment plans for approved diagnoses. Government policies are also influenced by how you define addiction.Proponents of the choice model of addiction argue that the consumption of drugs or alcohol is a choice, and that just as people can choose to take drugs or alcohol, they can choose not to.
Mestari

Con

Definitions

Addiction

My opponent tries to finally offer a definition for addiction in round 3. However she admits that her definition depends on the individual, making it impossible to objectify, unlike my definition which has an objective standard of harm. She has also failed to refute my definition of addiction throughout this entire debate, so we should prefer mine.

Case

Since both of my definitions stand I would like to extend the first contention of my case that definitionally negates the resolution. Note that my opponent has never opposed this contention. Right here you can negate.

Rebuttal

1. Broken Heart Syndrome

I'm just going to drop this line of questioning because it has come to the point where my opponent will not admit that anything other than cancer is a disease. She has not answered why the real consequences of broken heart syndrome should not be taken into account.

2. Traditional Idea of Disease

I would argue that the traditional model of disease is irrelevant to this debate. I offered a definition for what a disease it that was never refuted. Thus, my definition is what we shall look to, not tradition. An insurance company or governmental policy neglecting to cover addicts does not deny the condition the status of being a disease.

3. Choice

My opponent again argues under the premise of choice but has failed to refute my evidence that states genetics cause 40% of alcoholism. You see, choice is not the only factor, some people are born destined to be alcoholics.

Conclusion

Even with a fourth round to be had, this debate is over. We've come down to simple rehash of old arguments. Here's why I have won.

1. Definitional Negation: An addiction is a disease by definition. This is never refuted, thus conceded as true.
2. The crux of my opponent's case is that addictions are not genetically influenced but never answers my evidence that 40% of alcoholism is caused by genetics. This undermines the very premise of her arguments. She has no offense left in the round, I do.
Debate Round No. 3
Gypsy-magick

Pro

Most people assume "addiction" as the most heard of drug and alcohol but there are many ranging from A-Z.
I argue that a person could develop a addiction to hording teddy bears (for example)
I quote you on this" Whether the addiction a person has is to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or anything else has nothing to do with the status of an addiction as a disease. The resolution is not about the causes of addictions being a disease, but if addictions themselves are.Now if any given "addiction has become noted then can it be presumed this person suffers from a disease I will call "teddybearitits" will this person then develop physical symptoms from not having the root of what ails them? can we turn this into a life or death situation without a cure? I stand firmly even though this person clearly shows signs of mental or emotional imbalance it does not qualify as a disease.
Mestari

Con

My opponent made a new argument in the final round so I shall first briefly address that and then outline the reasons why I have won the round.

Rebuttal

Teddybearitis

Under my definition of addiction, which has been dropped by my opponent, an addiction must be harmful to the user. Thus, teddybearitis would not constitute an addiction. If it was however, somehow harmful and thus an addiction, then it would also be definitionally a disease, based on my case which has been conceded.

Case

Definitional Negation

This was never refuted in the entire debate round. Addictions are by definition diseases because they impair normal physical, psychological, and social functions. Diseases impair normal functioning. Thus, addictions are a type of disease. This argument is coming out of the first round and have never been touched.

Opponent's Case

Genetics

My opponent's entire argument relies on the notion that addictions are not genetically influenced. I will repeat again that genetics are responsible for 40% of alcoholism. My opponent never addresses this statistic and thus concedes it as true. Her entire case ceases to function when this statistic is acknowledged.

Voters

Conduct: My opponent made a new argument in the final round that I had to respond to. Conduct should default to me for this.
Spelling and Grammar: My opponent did not always use grammatically correct sentences, missing capitalization, spaces, parenthesis, and other essential components. She also failed to use paragraphs to clearly display her ideas. I have had excellent spelling, grammar, and overall presentation.
Arguments: 1. My case was completely conceded,
2. Her cause does not function without refuting my alcoholism statistic.
Sources: I directly quote the arguments out of my source as part of my speech. My opponent's only two sources are just pasted as link without any direction as to what part of the articles she is using, as she does not properly quote & cite them. I have more sources, and apply them to the debate in a much more efficient manner. Also, if you count citation as a whole in this category, then remember that my opponent failed to put quotes taken from my speeches in quotation marks, making them hard to follow. That may also go under spelling & grammar if you count the category as general presentation.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by greekgodfan321 5 years ago
greekgodfan321
it is a disease. yes cancer is a disease, i should know, my stepdad died of lung cancer... but people die of over intoxication. they are just two different types of diseases.
Posted by Gypsy-magick 5 years ago
Gypsy-magick
I understand what your saying and thank you in advance for your time.
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
I'm sorry about the long delay for posting my opening argument, and for it being relatively short. When I accepted this debate I was interested because I live with n addict, but realized it wasn't a topic that I wanted to talk about once I started researching. I will definitely finish the debate and try to speed up my responses though.
Posted by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
* Interesting*
Posted by wierdman 5 years ago
wierdman
intresting topic.
Posted by Gypsy-magick 5 years ago
Gypsy-magick
Aw I realize that now thanks for the tip I was doing some research on the topic.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Pro - Might I suggest that next time (it's too late for this debate) that you always open with a list of definitions. Particularly in this case, a definition of "addiction" and "disease" and with links to a dictionary site (like princton or webster or even freedictionaryonline).

That helps prevent the debate from turning to semantics and an argument over what words mean what, so the actual issue can be debated.
Posted by Gypsy-magick 5 years ago
Gypsy-magick
I have been waiting for any response from my contender
Posted by Mestari 5 years ago
Mestari
I accepted this debate already because I like the topic. I will post my opening argument tonight in a few hours.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
Gypsy-magickMestariTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: This wasn't even close. Sorry, gyspy-magick, but constantly giving new definitions to the word 'addiction' in each round (despite the fact that you had plenty of oppurtunity to define such a word in your opening round) and your decision to post argument in the last round count as violations in terms of conduct. In addition, Con's argument stood and was far more clearly presented than Pro's....Gyspy-magick also made several spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Gypsy-magickMestariTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: See man-is-good