We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I see a eerie connection between some common mental illnesses and addiction. Bi-polar for example. So while the addiction itself may not be a "disease" it could be that a diagnosable illness contributes or even causes the addiction.
30+ years ago after receiving adjudication for my 2nd DWI I was sentenced to attend regular AA meetings. I may have attended the wrong meetings as what I saw were many people, some with 30 or 40 years sobriety still white-knuckling their sober way through life. I realized then that what I needed was not a way to stay sober (just not drink) but a way to live life not encumbered by the desire to be inebriated.
I found that outside the group but have since come to learn that those groups do indeed teach the life skills and provide the communities many need to stay sober and to live productive, functional and productive lives. I value those groups as I have several friends and some family who find great value in them.
Bi-polars are an entirely different matter as they seem to self medicate in an effort to even out the highs and lows that they experience. ( I have some in my circle. they are hard cases.) Bi-Polar is indeed a disease.