Alcoholism and Society

Alcoholism and Society

Alcoholism and Society

Alcoholism and Society

Excerpt

Our principal objective in this book is to make known to as large an audience as possible the information today available about the alcoholic, in the hope that we may help bring about a revolution in social attitudes toward alcoholism.

Alcoholism--third only to heart disease and cancer in incidence--is a major public health problem that we as a society have handled shamefully. Not only is an ignorant, moralistic, and punitive attitude rampant among lay people; it thrives among the caretaking professions as well. We are all familiar with the disparaging and even abusive labels used to describe and discuss the alcoholic. Society despises him; the medical profession shuns him.

If some of this hostile feeling toward the alcoholic can be dispelled and aid and understanding extended to him and his family, he may have more incentive to seek help. No one today can afford to be so smug or self-righteous as to say: "This problem cannot happen to me or to mine." Traditional attitudes of misunderstanding, rejection, disgust, moral preaching, and prohibition--even threat--have only made more difficult the solution of the problem. In addition, the rapid rate of acculturation in twentieth centurycentury . . .

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