Rational Header
RR Logo
Flag Ribbon
Page Curl
Page Curl

This page is reserved for evidence supporting the disease theory of addiction. Additionally, we are seeking information on the treatment of addiction. Since 1985, I have been telling everyone I can that at there is no disease  which causes people to consume alcohol or other hedonic drugs, nor are there any treatments for the alleged disease of addiction. The result of my public education is that many thousands of hopelessly addicted people have abruptly quit their addictions and resumed happy, productive lives.

The disease concept of addiction, promulgated by fellowships of addiction and the 12-step syndicate in our social service system has transformed a common vice into a national tragedy, wherein addicted people are diverted from the immediate, obvious remedy, planned, permanent abstinence, into a self-serving mode of one-day-at-a-time sobriety recoveryism.

If any evidence exists that would make it clear to a reasonable person that addiction is or is caused by a disease, or that a specific treatment exists for addiction to alcohol and other drugs, it is critically important that Rational Recovery be so informed. That evidence will be posted below, along with a public retraction of our warnings against submitting to the treatment of addictive disease, and a general recantation of Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT). -- Jack Trimpey, August 15, 1999

Please email actual text with citations to: Evidence for RR


(This space reserved for the first shred
of scientific evidence supporting the
disease concept of addiction.)


(This space reserved for the first description
of a treatment for the desire to get
drunk or high on drugs.)


(This space reserved for the first shred
of scientific evidence supporting the
psychological disease concept of addiction.)

June 2, 2001.

Since this page was first posted nearly two years ago, in August, 1999, we have received thousands of irate emails and telephone calls complaining about our vigorous criticism of the recovery group movement, many outraged at our loud rejection of the disease model of misbehavior. However, we have received not a single submission of data or evidence in support of the hypothesis that addiction to alcohol or drugs is or is caused by a disease. Neither have we received any documentation of a specific treatment for addiction, in spite of direct requests from various state and federal agencies.

Our good-faith offer above still stands. We want evidence of any disease, medical or psychological, that would render a human being powerless over the desire to get high on alcohol or other drugs. Any government or public social agency engaged in the treatment of addiction is especially welcome to contribute to our knowledge on the subject of addictive disease. In particular, we would welcome a contribution from any member of the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM), explaining the nature of addictive disease, in terms understandable to the intelligent layperson.

Jack Trimpey

Sun, Feb 10, 2002

Since the above update, web traffic to http://www.rational.org has increased about 15%, now averaging 450 hits a day. The incoming hostile email has reflected that increase, along with more friendly contacts. Overall, there is just more activity at the website than 8 months ago. Nevertheless, we have yet to receive any evidence in support of the hypothesis that addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs is or is caused by an inherited or acquired disease.

I have condemned the disease concept of misconduct as the greatest iatrogenic blunder in world history. For years I have warned that the disease concept of addiction has destroyed more lives than addiction itself. For many years, I have been warning everyone to stay away from recovery groups of all kinds, because the groupers will invariably inject the idea that addiction is the result of psychological or medical disease.

I find it very disturbing that people who attempt to silence my criticism of AA also fail to submit evidence for AA’s infamous disease concept of addiction. I am aware that a good number of professional counselors and physicians frequent these pages, as well as 12-step groupers who spend their evenings subverting the autonomy of newcomers with the crippling disease concept. Their passivity in the face of my assertions and claims should alert everyone that something is seriously wrong in our social service system.

Once again, we demand an explanation of addictive disease in simple terms that will satisfy the common sense of an intelligent layperson.

Jack Trimpey


Update: Fri, Sep 6, 2002

Still no evidence submitted, not even stupid evidence. Website activity is up, around 550 to 600 hits a day, and we have received several thousand objections to the website content, all from disgruntled 12-steppers. Most are quite juvenile or simply attack me for criticizing the 12-step program or challenging the integrity of the recovery group movement.

Because of the remarkable inactivity on this Evidence page, I have reserved another space for the first scientific evidence supporting the psychological disease concept of addiction, which is the belief that habitual drunkenness is adaptive, e.g., coping with problems, self-medication, etc.

Jack Trimpey

Update: October 15, 2003

Still no evidence submitted, although this year we did receive one enthusiastic submission consisting of weblinks leading to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other government-sponsored sites that simply proclaim that addiction is a disease, but without any explanation or supporting evidence that there is any such disease. Although the disease concept of addiction is now very popular, it is essentially an article of faith, based upon the public trust in the government and in the health professions. I invite you to review that rejected submission, below,* as it identifies some of the key players of the addiction treatment industry, and illustrates the political and interpersonal dynamics of the American addiction tragedy.

The recent director of NIDA, Alan Leshner, is the individual who has appeared on the major TV networks and the various newswires with his use of PET scans to "prove" that addiction is a disease. Lines of cocaine were shown to street junkies while sensors on his scalp measureed internal brain activity. Viola, the junkies' brains lit up like Christmas tree lights! "See?" exclaimes Leshner in his carny-style newswire hustle, "Those light, fliickering areas of the brain don't show up in normal, non-addicted people. That proves that addiction is a disease!" I'm glad he doesn't have his PET scan attached to my scalp when a pretty woman walks by!

From those same NIDA excursions into scientific lunacy, came another more disgusting proclamation, again, without a shred of evidence but apparently in a game of "Catch up with the common sense of RR." Leshner, et al, have begun to tie in the survival drive with addiction, as published by Rational Recovery in 1992 under the heading, the Structural Model of Addiction(sm). Now, he has added, "Addiction is when the survival drive is hijacked." A rather confused statement, far from the refinement of AVRT, but evidence that people in high places are growing quite uncomfortable with the specious foundation of their vocation of deceit. They are aware that their "pet" theory" is supported primarily by any 7th grade health science text, which is the actual source of our homely graphic of the two-part brain. They will inevitably have to open the door of AVRT, which I have personal presented to them in their offices, to avoid being exposed as scientific charlatans, and when they do, I will be waiting.

Meanwhile, NIDA's leadership has changed over to a direct descendent of Leon Trotsky, his granddaughter.

Jack Trimpey

Hello Jack,

I would like to submit the following information from the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services. This quote is from a portion of their FAQ page on alcoholism and substance abuse. But considering the fact that for your visitors to be reading your evidence page they have to be on the internet anyway, why not just include the web address and let them make their own decision over the validity of information?

I am always willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. You may have an approach that can work for some people. If you are unwilling to publish the following information or link I'm afraid I will just consider you another "out to make a fast buck" kind of therapist that preys on misfortune. Or please email me and explain why the following information should not be included.
Thanks for your time,
Bill Gesler



Thanks for your interest in the Evidence Page at the RR Website. As you know, it has been up for years, and only a few persons, such as yourself, have even attempted to produce actual evidence supporting the disease concept of addiction. Like them, you have simply cited the pseudo-scientific drivel of the addiction treatment industry, which has gained the active support of our social service system.

You didn't indicate your affiliation with AA/NA, but I'll get to that below. I have posted your citation below, and it will also appear at the website. It is a good example of how the health professions, especially medicine, have betrayed their ethical traditions and foundation in science.

Nowhere in your citation or at the National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction is there any evidence that the use of alcohol and other drugs is ever caused by or results from a disease. Instead, conditions associated with addiction, "symptoms," are described in some objective terms and then it is asserted that those conditions prove that addiction constitutes or results from a disease.

I have made some comments below, highlighted in red, within the text you have copied from a website created by the 12-step syndicate and maintained by the United States government.

FAQ' s on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Q #1: What is alcoholism?
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence, is a disease that includes the following four symptoms:

The existence of "symptoms" do not prove a pre-existing disease. For example, rapid breathing may be a sign of robust health or dire illness.

Craving--A strong need, or urge, to drink.

The desire for pleasure is not a sign of illness, but of robust health. Sick people don't want to engage in pleasures; they want to feel better. So-called "relapses" occur most often when people feel good rather than when they feel bad. Some disease!

Loss of control--Not being able to stop drinking once drinking has begun.

This is circular reasoning that any bright fifth grader would giggle at. How do we know if one is capable of something until they do it? Excessive drinking, even to the point of self-destruction, does not prove inability or powerlessness to do quit. In fact, many people who seemed headed for death by drinking suddenly quit altogether and reclaim their lives from addiction.

Physical dependence--Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety after stopping drinking.

This has nothing to do with a pre-existing disease! Anyone can become dependent on a wide range of substances. The use of alcohol and other drugs maycausedisease, including heart disease, liver disease, and withdrawal syndromes that may liberally be called "disease." However, there is no disease that causes one to indulge in the drugs in the first place.

Tolerance--The need to drink greater amounts of alcohol to get "high."

There is no other disease that has this phenomenon as a "symptom." Again, robust health would much better explain "tolerance" than illness. Physical conditioning requires progressively more exercise to produce the desired results. To list "getting high" as the goal of excess drinking does not suggest a pre-existing disease at all, but does illustrate the voluntary, purposeful nature of addiction.

AVRT® reveals that addiction expands into the tolerance that surrounds it, and that an important function of the Addictive Voice is to build tolerance for the use of intoxicating substances in the family and in society. The idea that addicted people get high because of some compelling disease is a prime example of the Addictive Voice in action. Here, we see the artful hijacking of the word “tolerance” to describe a symptom of an imaginary, compelling disease.

For clinical and research purposes, formal diagnostic criteria for alcoholism also have been developed. Such criteria are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, as well as in the International Classification Diseases, published by the World Health Organization. (See also "Publications," Alcohol Alert No. 30 <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa30.htm> : Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse and Dependence.)

The DSM is a billing device for the medical profession, and it is not a scientific document! It merely lists objective signs to be used to qualify certain patients for procedures that may be covered by medical insurance or payment by public agencies. Moreover, the American Medical Association, often cited as an authority in agreement with the disease concept of addiction, is not a scientific organization. It is a professional guild, concerned with professional standards, practice issues, and the general well-being of physician members. They have endorsed the disease concept of addiction, by democratic vote, without a shred of evidence of some inherent defect that results in alcoholic excess or drug addiction. Medical doctors and social scientists are mostly ignorant of the nature of addiction and recovery, never having been addicted themselves. Thus, they are highly suggestible to the medicalization of addiction, which gives them a respectable way of getting undesirables out of their offices. It is significant that the AMA does not recognize the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Addictionologiists are like pro wrestlers, going through great motions in their deceptive art. They play for real money, and there's lots of it for the purpose of creating the illusion of addictive disease and medical treatment for it.

Q #2: Is alcoholism a disease?
Yes, alcoholism is a disease. The craving that an alcoholic feels for alcohol can be as strong as the need for food or water. An alcoholic will continue to drink despite serious family, health, or legal problems.

The desire for intense pleasure is not a disease! The desire for sexual release is not a disease! The desire for lots o' good food is not a disease! The desire to get rich pulling the slots is not a disease! They are and always have been vices, pleasurable indulgences that carry significant, well-known risks.

Like many other diseases, alcoholism is chronic, meaning that it lasts a person's lifetime; it usually follows a predictable course; and it has symptoms. The risk for developing alcoholism is influenced both by a person's genes and by his or her lifestyle. (See also "Publications," Alcohol Alert No. 30 <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa30.htm> : Diagnostic Criteria for Alcohol Abuse and Dependence.)

Already, this 12-step syndicate text is becoming circular, referring to symptoms that to the trusting layperson seem to prove the existing of pre-existing disease. Persistence and a predictable course do not have the slightest connection with disease process. Furthermore, addiction is not chronic at all! People may stubbornly persist drinking/using in spite of bad consequences, even for many years, but that does not mean they have a chronic disease. When one has had enough, it is time to quit, and that is exactly what the large majority (according to AA, 60%) of seriously addicted people do. They get fed up with addiction and summarily quit, not one-day-at-a-time, but for all time.

Q #3: Is alcoholism inherited?
Research shows that the risk for developing alcoholism does indeed run in families. The genes a person inherits partially explain this pattern, but lifestyle is also a factor. Currently, researchers are working to discover the actual genes that put people at risk for alcoholism. Your friends, the amount of stress in your life, and how readily available alcohol is also are factors that may increase your risk for alcoholism.

That means that JS Bach suffered the disease of musicality. The sons of athletes suffer the disease of athleticism. It true that the sons of drunkards often repeat the stupidity of their fathers, but that is not to say they suffer from alcoholism. Only a drunk would conclude that a disease accounts for his repeating the stupidity of his parents, for the reward is a lifetime excuse to stay high as a kite, just like his parents did.

But remember: Risk is not destiny. Just because alcoholism tends to run in families doesn't mean that a child of an alcoholic parent will automatically become an alcoholic too. Some people develop alcoholism even though no one in their family has a drinking problem. By the same token, not all children of alcoholic families get into trouble with alcohol. Knowing you are at risk is important, though, because then you can take steps to protect yourself from developing problems with alcohol. (See also "Publications," A Family History of Alcoholism - Are You at Risk?
<http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Family/famhist.htm> ; Alcohol Alert No. 18 <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa18.htm> : The Genetics of Alcoholism.)

The risk of stupidity or immorality has nothing to do with the conduct of human beings, who are endowed with free will. The above paragraph makes humans appear as a cork on a stormy sea blown by biological forces. We are different from lower creatures who must respond to biological commands as the ultimate law of existence.

Q #4: Can alcoholism be cured?
No, alcoholism cannot be cured at this time. Even if an alcoholic hasn't been drinking for a long time, he or she can still suffer a relapse. To guard against a relapse, an alcoholic must continue to avoid all alcoholic beverages.
(See also "Publications/Pamphlets and Brochures," Alcoholism: Getting the Facts. <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/booklet.htm> )

This is where the addiction treatment industry is at its ugliest, misinforming the public and suppressing the fact that self-recovery is commonplace and available to every single addicted person in the world. Of course addiction can be cured! Tobacco addiction can be cured, and millions of cured, former smokers are enjoying better lives from having exercised common self-restraint. If you read the above paragraph, one may discover considerable confusion, especially the sentence about avoiding relapse, whatever that means. Guarding against relapse by avoiding alcohol? What does this mean? It is typical of the chaotic thinking style of the 12-step syndicate, which is all show and no substance.

Q #5: Can alcoholism be treated?
Yes, alcoholism can be treated. Alcoholism treatment programs use both counseling and medications to help a person stop drinking. Most alcoholics need help to recover from their disease. With support and treatment, many people are able to stop drinking and rebuild their lives. (See also "Publication," Alcohol Alert No.49 <http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa49.htm> :New Advances in Alcoholism Treatment.)"

There is no treatment for free will. All such procedures infringe upon the truth and produce outcomes that fall far short of one's native potentials. There are no hidden reasons for addiction, nor any causes or diseases to be treated. Addiction treatment is categorically a fraudulent practice, producing an abstinent outcome near zero. Addiction treatment is based upon the same deceptions and doctrines of the recovery group movement, such as one-day-at-a-time sobriety, the recovery-through-self-improvement inversion, and the social support fallacy.

Addicted people become desperate in their attempts to solve the problem, and they are highly receptive to information intended to help. They are universally inclined to take control, quit drinking/using, and live free of alcohol and other drugs. More than anything else, they need to hear the truth about addiction and recovery, that self-recovery is commonplace and amounts to a natural ability that can be learned, and that life will immediately become easier in the context of lifetime abstinence. Instead, the 12-step syndicate intercepts all addicted people with their message of powerlessness, disease, and social cultism. The tenets of AVRT-based recovery are factual, and should immediately replace the foundation of the recovery group movement and its business arm, the addiction treatment industry.


I am posting this piece you call "evidence" at the Rational Recovery Web Center, at your request, not because it has any merit, but only because many others have submitted specimens they believed were evidence of the disease concept of addiction. None of my comments are intended for you, although I will call your attention to some uncalled-for cynicism about my character and integrity. You said you would interpret my rejection of your belief in the disease concept as evidence that I am a scammer, preying upon the vulnerability and gullibility of addicted people.

I don't know if you realize how juvenile that stance appears to persons outside the (ahem) "recovery community." You are saying that there must be something wrong with someone who disagrees with you. I do know that 12-steppers are taught to attack the character of anyone who criticizes AA or the 12-step program. This arrogance is first learned in meetings where newcomers learn the party line under group pressure, and then the cycle of oppression continues when the once-bitten bites the newcomer, to pass along addction's proxy, the affliction of 12-step recoveryism. Away from meetings, the arrogance of recoveryism becomes insolence toward persons like myself, who attempt to get vital, life-saving information on self-recovery to addicted people.

I suggest you study AVRT diligently, so you can at least know of that to which you object. In doing so, you may find yourself re-connecting with your initial objections toward 12-step recovery. You might even do what your better judgment was imploring you to do back then - quit getting high for life and stay away from recovery groups of all kinds!

Sincere regards,

Jack Trimpey

Sat, February 12, 2005

Many thousands of hits on this page during 2004, many comments, many complaints, but no new evidence.

Jack Trimpey

January 7, 2006

Still no evidence, old or new, showing that there is some inherited condition that compels excessive use of alcohol and other drugs, or mitigates the moral resonsiility of those who do.

However, there are some interesting submissions, which I will list below.

Happy New Year!

Jack Trimpey

Mr. Trimpey,

There is plenty of evidence from neurobiology to indicate differences in susceptibility to develop addiction on a neurological and hormonal level. Such as, in both rats and humans there are individual differences in the effects of alcohol on certain brain regions (Cox and Klinger,1988 cited in cited in Toates, 1996). Genetic differences in propensity to alcoholism may be related to differences in the effects of alcohol on mood changes (Blum,1991 cited in Toates,1996).Predisposition towards alcoholism is related to a deficiency in the opioid system ( Blum,1992 cited in Toates 1996).


Toates, F (1996) ‘The embodied self: A biological perspective’ in Stevens, R. (ed.) Understanding the self, London, Sage.

(Name withheld), M.D.

Dr. (Name withheld),

Thanks for the evidence submission. I will place it among the also-rans at the Evidence Page at the Rational Recovery website. It is a submission that relies upon the edifice of Science to convey to the common man that the contents are true and correct. An intelligent layperson might be intimidated by your scientific posturing, so I'll simply note here for those readers that your sincere submission is an example of how professionals, often inadvertantly, deny their clients informed consent.

First, regarding your final Toats citation, a predisposition to a disease isn’t a disease, especially when the disease in questions does not exits itself. Your other citations seem to say that one’s moods cause behavior, which is a falsehood. Moods and emotions do not cause behavior. Individuals, symbolized in language by the pronoun “I,” cause and direct the flexation of voluntary, striated muscles. I am frankly alarmed when physicians and other well-educated people engage in such sloppy thinking as those who do addiction research.

As you might imagine, I've read quite a few articles and books seeming to trace the voluntary, purposeful flexation of striated muscles to aberrant neurophysiological instigators, you know, those irksome brain juices that seem to jerk people around without really jerking them around. Of course, those unique instigators often have genetic origins, hence the widespread belief that habitual self-intoxication is caused by or consists of an inherited disease rather than a transgenerational run of familial immorality.

However, addiction/alcoholism is a behavioral disease, conferred retrospectively upon persons whose antisocial or self-destructive behavior comes to the attention of others and to our social service system. To then seek a microbiological explanation or predictor of that behavior seems premature, considering that there is no evidence at all showing how molecules give rise to volition.

The fact that some of us enjoy drinking more than others, and that our attempts at moderation go the way of coitus interruptus, in no way suggests that the intensity of our desire to drink justifies drinking. In other words, desire does not justify immoral conduct. Alas, that is the bridge too far, over which the disease concept of addiction leads, into a world where human beings are buffeted about helplessly on a sea of desire rather than possessing a moral rudder to navigate away from pleasures likely to cause harm. In other words, we humans, unlike animals, are free moral agents with the freedom to choose between right and wrong, or possessing the ability to resist bodily desires.

There are massive libraries of addiction research that have thus far produced nothing in the way of understanding or relief to addicted people, but science’s soldiers are still scouring the frontiers of science looking for a satisfying excuse for the preposterous conduct of addicts. They still search, drug-by-drug, for something, anything, that will reduce that terrible craving that seems to impel disease-ridden addicts back to the use of the substance, again and again, even after endless treatments and group indoctrinations.

The best science has to offer this year is a drug that claims to reduce the pleasure from drinking, or possibly reduce the desire to drink. In other words, to benefit from Naltrexone, one must actually drink, in order to experience deadened pleasure, or want to get rid of the desire to drink, due to powerlessness over desire. Science does not exist in the realm of addiction, but in a rarified atmosphere where the richness of subjective experience is absent. That is why is is obvious that Naltrexone, Antabuse, and other pleasure-robbing medications are most certainly product of the fertile imaginations of researchers who have never been addicted or who are living in the inverted world of recoveryism themselves. I mean, really, who in their right minds would take an anti-drink just before taking an expensive drink? Who would spend half of their money on an anti-fix and the rest on the fix itself?

I realize there are some other likely commercial successes coming up through FDA, but if their action is also to squelch the desire for pleasure, or depend upon the continued use of alcohol and other drugs for their clinical effect, they are simply part of the over-arching, addiction treatment industry, the pseudo-scientific behemoth that proclaims that we ought not to expect problem drinkers and other substance abusers to summarily quit getting high.

If you are aware of any scientific research that suggests or supports the hypothesis that neurobiological factors initiate volition, I would like to add that to the evidence you have submitted.

I apologize if I've been profuse in my response to your terse submission.


Jack Trimpey

Sun, September 27, 2009

The number of visitors to this website is over three million, many of whom have expressed critical and hostile opinions about my work, but thus far I have received no examples of scientific evidence demonstrating the disease concept of addiction. I do receive many inverted inquiries, however, asking if I can document that addiction or alcoholism is not a disease. These inquiries show the depth to which the disease concept of addiction has penetrated American culture.

Of course, there is no evidence disproving the disease concept of addiction, any more than there is evidence disproving the existence of God. Any invidual can prove he does not have addictive disease merely by quitting the use of alcohol/drugs. However, recovery doctrines insist that persons who do quit successfully must not have had addictive disease in the first place, because if they had, they would still be drinking/using or be in recovery. The tortured reasoning of recoveryism continues, that even those who do successfully quit — even for decades, as in my case — might someday resume drinking/using, thus proving the latent form of addictive disease. This is the “fat lady sings” theory, which now graces the edifice of the medical profession to the tune of trillions of dollars poured down the rat hole of addiction treatment.

The irony here is that the medical authorities who force belief in the bogus disease concept of addiction also force addicted people to believe in the god of addiction, God-as-addicts-understand-him, i.e., the Beast. Wearing the laurels of medicine, the Beast now rules the masses, giving rise to a new collectivism based upon glandular aspirations.

If anywhere in the world the Hippocratic Oath is trampled and desecrated, it is in the United States of America where millions of addicted people and their families are destroyed by forced participation in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous and other forms of medically supervised addiction treatment. Free people, addiicted or not, have no need for external or doctrinal restraints imposed “for their own good” under medical supervision, when the natural consequences of addiction are amply sufficient to deter substance abuse.

If America finally falls, the reader of history may finally be able to identify the virulent disease concept of addiction which crawled out of the gutters of Akron, Ohio, in the 1930’s as the progenitor of social decay resulting in the loss of freedom.

“With one arm around the shoulder of religion and the other around the shoulder of medicine, we might change the world.“ — Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AA World Services, Inc. (1953)

The recovery group movement has marched to become the surrogate family movement, which has achieved enormous political victories and raw, political power.

Jack Trimpey



Return to Sitemap

© Copyright, 2019, Rational Recovery Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.