Is addiction genetic and-should it be treated like a disease

Archie: Wipeout (segment available at):…/is-addiction-genetic-and-should-it-b…

I’d call this segment a throwaway. Your brief appearance is a personal accomplishment that you can cite and seemed well-chosen in capturing the essence of your position, but it was the only contribution that went against the tide and was somewhat discredited by the lead-in “Some in the medical establishment oppose…”— a painful irony for those who know your history, and one that paints you as an insensitive oppressor of people like the women featured. You were also thrown in with the mixed-up position of the big bad Trump administration, which seeks to reduce funds for treatment (which doesn’t necessarily follow from your position, depending on what kind of treatment is offered) even while Trump lectured his kids early about genetic risk in the family.

At least one speaker hammered on the genetic explanation being “scientific,” and someone pulled out of a hat the figure that genes contribute more than half of the causation of addiction. (How many communists are there in the State Department, anyway?) And there was not the slightest mention of environmental contribution (behavioral modeling) to the fact of addiction running in families. Repetition of behavior from one generation to the next was taken to be equivalent to genetic transmission.

In one respect it wasn’t quite as bad as it might have been (saved by vagueness). In all the talk about warning children early about the familial risk of addiction, reinforced by several speakers (which is what you spoke against), I didn’t hear anyone say that kids should be told not to drink (or whatever) at all. But the message is still a very negative and harmful one.

You can take satisfaction that it was a concession to cultural change that a major network felt obligated to have you on at all as an acknowledgment of “controversy.” Besides that, it was a wipeout.

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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