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AHeneen
09-24-2009, 12:48 AM
Fired Sarasota deputy files suit, claims alcoholism is a disability

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI | The Tampa Tribune Link (http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/23/231438/fired-sarasota-deputy-files-suit-claims-alcoholism/news-breaking/)

Published: September 23, 2009

TAMPA - A former Sarasota County sheriff's deputy claims he was the victim of discrimination because he was fired for excessive alcohol use.

Clinton Knowles filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Thomas Knight under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act, claiming protection under the law because his alcoholism is a disability.

...

Knowles was disciplined Oct. 24, 2007, for failing to report to duty and admitted to his bosses that he had such a problem with alcohol "that it affected his ability to do his work and had directly caused his failing to report to two assigned shifts," the lawsuit states.

Even before that date, he was regarded by his chain of command and colleagues as an alcoholic, according to the lawsuit.

...

According to his lawsuit, Knowles was removed from his assignment to the SWAT team, pending his referral to the Employee Assistance Program. But, despite his repeated requests, he was never admitted to the program.

On Feb. 27, 2008, he was returned to full-duty status, and his referral to the Employee Assistance Program was put on hold.

The next day, Knowles, "while off duty, engaged in inappropriate and obnoxious behavior while at a restaurant and bar in Sarasota County," according to the lawsuit. He had a blackout and has no memory of the incident.

According to the North Port Police Department, Knowles was charged with misdemeanor battery after inappropriately grabbing two women at an Applebee's restaurant. Knowles refused to come to the police station to make a statement, but the women identified him in a photo lineup, Capt. Robert Estrada said.

On Feb. 29, 2008, Knowles checked himself into a 28-day detoxification program. He was granted time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act and successfully completed the program.

To date, Knowles has remained sober and in faith-based counseling, according to the lawsuit.

On April 28, Knowles was fired for violating the sheriff's general orders relating to off-duty use of alcohol and for "violations of the law" during the incident in the restaurant and bar, the lawsuit states.

Knowles is seeking lost wages, attorney's fees and other financial compensation. In addition, he wants an order requiring the sheriff to "provide reasonable accommodation to deputy sheriffs suffering from alcoholism."

A fact sheet posted online by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says alcoholics are covered by the Americans with Disabilities act. The fact sheet continues, "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."

The EEOC says in another document explaining the law, "Employers may hold illegal drug users and alcoholics to the same performance standards as other employees."

Rockntractor
09-24-2009, 12:52 AM
When you drink you can chose when to start being disabled and when to stop. I bet there are a lot of blind and crippled people that wish they could do that!

AlmostThere
09-24-2009, 03:31 AM
Maybe someone should slap the snot out of Zero and when tackled by security plead his case that he has anger management issues and just needs some counseling.

Sonnabend
09-24-2009, 09:26 AM
When you drink you can chose when to start being disabled and when to stop.

Alcoholism is a real disease, a real issue and a valid concern, Rock. It's an addiction and a lifetime issue to control and avoid.

You dont choose to be an alcoholic.

Rockntractor
09-24-2009, 10:41 AM
Alcoholism is a real disease, a real issue and a valid concern, Rock. It's an addiction and a lifetime issue to control and avoid.

You dont choose to be an alcoholic.

I did. I choose to drink every day for at least 15 years and I drank heavy too. One day I went to the refrigerator and looked at my malt liquor and made a choice to not drink any. that was November 7 1992 and I haven't drank since. Of course I had help from God but he offers that to everyone. I am well aware of the disease concept, I attended AA for a couple of years. I disagree with it. To many use that as an excuse to drink. You want to quit? Ask God then Quit!

AlmostThere
09-24-2009, 01:03 PM
I did. I choose to drink every day for at least 15 years and I drank heavy too. One day I went to the refrigerator and looked at my malt liquor and made a choice to not drink any. that was November 7 1992 and I haven't drank since. Of course I had help from God but he offers that to everyone. I am well aware of the disease concept, I attended AA for a couple of years. I disagree with it. To many use that as an excuse to drink. You want to quit? Ask God then Quit!

June 4th, 1987.

Yeah, it may be a disease but it's one of the very few where you actually have complete and final say on what it does to you. I started and ended my day with a drink in my hand. I know this bastard as well as most.

I have made myself a promise though. I've decided that if I have notice that I'm on my way out the door, I'm gonna have a Jack and Coke to celebrate the occasion. If by chance I'm run over by a truck while crossing the street, well in that case the last one I had in 87 will have to do.

Eric Clapton was addicted to narcotics as well as alcohol. He has been clean and sober for a good number of years. The reason I mention him is that I've heard him use what to me is the definitive statement on being an alcoholic.

"One drink is too many and a thousand aren't enough." You really understand what that means and you can live with this disease.

Rockntractor
09-24-2009, 01:11 PM
As with most things I say this is my opinion but rejection of the disease concept is not exclusive to me. There are many people that feel that addiction no matter how it effects health, doesn't fit under the original meaning of the word disease.

AlmostThere
09-24-2009, 01:30 PM
I don't know if it is a disease or not, but I do think there is some genetic component to it. My father was a hard core alcoholic. But he left our home when I was about 5. I never spoke to him, saw him or heard from him again after he left. I was in my late 30's when my mother mentioned that she'd heard he died several years earlier. I have no real memories of him at all. My brother and I were raised in a good Christian home by my mother and grandmother. In my 50+ years I've seen my mother tipsy once. Just tipsy. It was at her brother's wedding. My grandmother died at 96 without ever smoking a cigarette or having a drink.

By the time my brother and I had reached our mid 20's we were both drunks. I've heard other people with similar stories.

pssvr
09-24-2009, 01:44 PM
Alcoholism isn't a disease, nor is it genetic.

Susceptibility to it may be genetic. It's still a person's own choice whether to fall victim to that susceptibility. You can't get addicted to something you never try.

Rockntractor
09-24-2009, 01:56 PM
A disease of the soul.

Megaguns91
09-24-2009, 02:10 PM
My parents, bless their souls, are alcoholics and it's a shame to watch good people deteriorate to a sick substance. I know, however, that it is purely their choice to drink, just as it is my choice not to.

AlmostThere
09-24-2009, 02:42 PM
Alcoholism isn't a disease, nor is it genetic.

Susceptibility to it may be genetic. It's still a person's own choice whether to fall victim to that susceptibility. You can't get addicted to something you never try.

Is there medical research you are you relying on? Do you know what the term "genetic component" means?

Rockntractor
09-24-2009, 06:16 PM
In 1976, the writer Ivan Illich warned in a book, Limits to Medicine, that 'the medical establishment has become a major threat to health'. At the time, he was dismissed as a maverick, but a quarter of a century later, even the medical establishment is prepared to admit that he may well be right. (Anthony Browne, April 14, 2002, the Observer)”

History and science have shown us that the existence of the disease of alcoholism is pure speculation. Just saying it’s so, doesn’t make it true.

Nevertheless, medical professionals and American culture lovingly embraced the disease concept and quickly applied it to every possible deviant behavior from alcohol abuse to compulsive lecturing.

The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology.

Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual.

In a recent Gallup poll, 90% of people surveyed believe that alcoholism is a disease. Most argue that because the American Medical Association (AMA) has proclaimed alcoholism a disease, the idea is without reproach.

But, the fact is that the AMA made this determination in the absence of empirical evidence. After reviewing the history of the decision, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the AMA has been pursuing its own agenda in the face of evidence negating the validity of alcoholism.

While the AMA has made extraordinary contributions in the mental health field, it is not outside the box. The AMA is a part of the capitalist paradigm that is necessary for our society to function.

The promulgation of the disease concept, in conjunction with AMA approval, has created a multi-billion dollar treatment industry that contributes billions to the health care industry.

But, with their status, mistakes in classifications can and do result in disastrous consequence. While the AMA’s classifications for the most part are accurate, the organization is not without error. Since its inception the AMA has made classifications of varying “deviant” behaviors without scientific research to validate its claims.

And, for whatever reason, the definition of a disease, as set forth by the AMA, is a malleable and all inclusive definition allowing for the inclusion of almost every deviant behavior. As a result, every unwanted behavior can be medicalized and medically treated thereby providing professionals with more patients and more income.

While many advocate for its benefits, the disease concept has proven to be far more damaging to the substance abuser then anyone could have predicted.

Therapists claim the disease concept helps the patient to understand the seriousness of [his/her] problems.

But in reality, this idea has backfired.

The disease concept strips the substance abuser of responsibility. A disease cannot be cured by force of will, therefore, adding the medical label transfers the responsibility from the abuser to others. Inevitably they become unwilling victims, and inevitably they take on that role.

In retrospect then, the disease concept has effectively increased alcoholism and drug abuse. Furthermore, its only benefit has been vast monetary reward for the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services. Specifically, it has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.

Further, it is beyond the grasp of logic for medical professionals to prescribe meeting attendance as a remedy for an “incurable” medical ailment, not to mention a contradiction to the supposed nature of the problem. Read the rest.
http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/447/1/Alcoholism-is-not-a-Disease/Page1.html

I don't agree with all of this article, 12 step programs have helped a lot of people. The author makes some good points though.

AlmostThere
09-25-2009, 06:20 AM
When I think of all the people I've known who have/had a drinking problem and then whether they have siblings/parents with a drinking problem, the prevalence makes it difficult for me to attribute it to coincidence. I'm not a scientist, far from it. My last science course was chemistry in high school 37 years ago. But if it quacks like a duck...

Sonnabend
09-25-2009, 08:08 AM
http://hubpages.com/hub/Genetic-Link-To-Alcoholism


Alcoholism is defined as a disease in which a person has no control over drinking, and is completely preoccupied with alcohol regardless of the adverse effects it has on their health, life or the lives of those they are surrounded by.

and here


Scientists have identified specific genes that are related to alcoholism and suspect there are more yet to be discovered. Having a genetic predisposition to alcoholism does not necessarily mean a person will become an alcoholic by partaking in a single drink. It does, however, increase the odds. Children of alcoholic parents are far more likely to have a problem with alcohol, as well as experience emotional or behavioral problems.

The discussion still goes on, but as has been shown above, genetic links have been found.

AHeneen
09-25-2009, 06:19 PM
Keep in mind for your next posts that the lawsuit claims alcoholism is a DISABILITY not a disease.

RobJohnson
09-26-2009, 12:24 AM
When you drink you can chose when to start being disabled and when to stop. I bet there are a lot of blind and crippled people that wish they could do that!

True.

RobJohnson
09-26-2009, 12:26 AM
http://hubpages.com/hub/Genetic-Link-To-Alcoholism



and here



The discussion still goes on, but as has been shown above, genetic links have been found.

I don't buy it. The only thing that makes a person take a drink is one's self.