There are psychical and mental diseases. Alcoholism and drug addiction are mental diseases. It falls into the category of obsession – compulsion disorder.
Is O.C.B. classified as a disease?
There is evidence of studies that has been going on for years that show it can be hereditary. Studies in the 90′s show there is a gene that predisposes one to be a alcoholic, but they have a chose.
Sometimes all it takes is a few times drinking to unleash the obsession, the compulsion to have a drink comes next. Over time that O.C. becomes stronger and they give up the ability to stop on their own. Some people do stop on their own, very few, most continue on the road where their lives are centered on getting and using more. They may cover it up with denial,that "I can handle it" or " I can stop when I want to", as they pour another drink.
Some people feel they control their drinking by only having a few when they come home from work, but through out the day that’s all they think about (obsession) the compulsion is when they come home from work "to unwind", and they may do this for years and never miss work and their life is not unmanageable, They are called functional alcoholics.
Over time they will be taking "liquid lunches", just a few to hold them over, or it may be in their desk,locker or car. It is not a personality or weak will person as to why they drink. Look how many presidents, C.E.O.’s, famous people are alcoholics.?
Source(s): Manager in a Recovery House.
Bill Wilson did not call it a "disease" in the Big Book, and at a conference for clergy in the 60s said he did not believe it was a disease is the strict sense of the word.
It became a disease mostly for medical and insurance reasons. Alcoholics were treated pretty poorly by hospital staff back when AA was getting started. And if the hospitals and doctors wanted to get paid for alcohol treatment, it was to their advantage to classify alcoholism as a disease.
Dr. E.M. Jellinek pushed the disease concept (It was later discovered that a large portion of Jellinek’s credentials were non-existent: http://www.peele.net/lib/jellinek.html… )
Marty Mann, often touted as the first woman to get sober in AA studied under Jellinek. She went on to form what eventually became the National Council on Alcoholism, using the Yale School of Alcohol Studies under Jellinek to establish scientific legitimacy for the disease concept. Her former occupation was in publicity.