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Thread: Alcoholism as a disability

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Alcoholism as a disability


    Steve Sarkisian sues USC for wrongful termination
    According to the Los Angeles Times, Sarkisian filed a wrongfull termination lawsuit Monday on the basis that USC fired him instead of allowing him to seek treatment. Sarkisian was fired on Oct. 12 – a day after he took a leave of absence to pursue treatment for issues with alcohol.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-...183907459.html
    Q. Are alcoholics covered by the ADA?

    A. Yes. While a current illegal user of drugs is not protected by the ADA if an employer acts on the basis of such use, a person who currently uses alcohol is not automatically denied protection. An alcoholic is a person with a disability and is protected by the ADA if s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. An employer may be required to provide an accommodation to an alcoholic. However, an employer can discipline, discharge or deny employment to an alcoholic whose use of alcohol adversely affects job performance or conduct. An employer also may prohibit the use of alcohol in the workplace and can require that employees not be under the influence of alcohol.
    "Alcoholism is a disease" is the popular refrain, we've all been taught...yet, many alcoholics have been disciplined, fired, arrested or other actions taken as result of their conduct under their disease."

    Most of us realize that...voluntary intoxication is not a defense for criminal actions.

    What about just poor form? I don't think Sarkisian has been accused of anything criminal...I know he was drunk and obnoxious at a fundraiser...heard there may have been other incidents, but not what they were.

    Is alcoholism a legitimate disability?
    The Voice of Reason

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    "Alcoholism is a disease" is the popular refrain, we've all been taught...yet, many alcoholics have been disciplined, fired, arrested or other actions taken as result of their conduct under their disease."

    Most of us realize that...voluntary intoxication is not a defense for criminal actions.

    What about just poor form? I don't think Sarkisian has been accused of anything criminal...I know he was drunk and obnoxious at a fundraiser...heard there may have been other incidents, but not what they were.

    Is alcoholism a legitimate disability?
    No, it is not. People with legitimate disabilities don't have any choices to make that could affect their disability. Alcoholics don't have to take a drink. Alcoholism is as big a disability as smoking is. Am I addicted? Yes. Do I still have the choice if I smoke or not? Yes.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Alcoholics don't have to take a drink. Alcoholism is as big a disability as smoking is. Am I addicted? Yes. Do I still have the choice if I smoke or not? Yes.
    I'm not quite sure about the whole addict thing anyway...

    Probably by most standards, I'd be considered a heavy drinker...but, I recently did a 30-day cleanse deal where I didn't drink for 30 days and it was pretty much a breeze...definitely not physical cravings...there was a night or three where I was like, 'man, I'd like a drink right now' drink, only because of what I was doing or something, but no major cravings or anything.

    I smoke cigars regularly...but also NOT smoke regularly...never have a craving where I HAVE to have one...I go through a period where I'm enjoying them and then I do something else for awhile...

    I was reading an article recently that ways saying that Oreos might be as addictive as cocaine. Really? I've never had cocaine, but I have had Oreos and I know I can stop having Oreos any time I want...so if that's all there is to cocaine, then it's not very addictive, okay?
    The Voice of Reason

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I'm not quite sure about the whole addict thing anyway...

    Probably by most standards, I'd be considered a heavy drinker...but, I recently did a 30-day cleanse deal where I didn't drink for 30 days and it was pretty much a breeze...definitely not physical cravings...there was a night or three where I was like, 'man, I'd like a drink right now' drink, only because of what I was doing or something, but no major cravings or anything.

    I smoke cigars regularly...but also NOT smoke regularly...never have a craving where I HAVE to have one...I go through a period where I'm enjoying them and then I do something else for awhile...

    I was reading an article recently that ways saying that Oreos might be as addictive as cocaine. Really? I've never had cocaine, but I have had Oreos and I know I can stop having Oreos any time I want...so if that's all there is to cocaine, then it's not very addictive, okay?
    That's the thing...a person wakes up and there's no alcohol around, they don't have to go buy it. If it is there, they don't have to drink it. A person wakes up with no legs, or MS, or blind, they don't get to choose whether or not they aren't disabled for the day.

    Calling alcoholism a disease is like calling sex addiction or obesity a disease/disability. It's just a cop-out for people who have no self control.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    That's the thing...a person wakes up and there's no alcohol around, they don't have to go buy it. If it is there, they don't have to drink it. A person wakes up with no legs, or MS, or blind, they don't get to choose whether or not they aren't disabled for the day.

    Calling alcoholism a disease is like calling sex addiction or obesity a disease/disability. It's just a cop-out for people who have no self control.
    OTOH, I do know someone who recently drank himself to death, quite literally. Despite having been hospitalized on two occasions in the last six months and repeatedly told if he didn't stop drinking, he was going to die.

    Now, I'm not sure if he 'couldn't' stop drinking or just stopped caring if he died...but he continued drinking and died.


    I have to believe addiction to heroin and cocaine and stuff like that is actually a LOT stronger than Oreos...how else can we explain it.

    Sex addiction...meh, I don't buy that one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    No, it is not. People with legitimate disabilities don't have any choices to make that could affect their disability. Alcoholics don't have to take a drink. Alcoholism is as big a disability as smoking is. Am I addicted? Yes. Do I still have the choice if I smoke or not? Yes.
    In some ways i agree, if i can get fired cause i smoke, which is just as addictive if not more so than alcohol, then so too should alcoholics.
    BUT since the ADA does seem to cover alcohol (though i find it interesting they DON'T cover tobacco), he should have been protected.

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