Medicine: Normal Drunks

About the cause & cure of drunkenness doctors know little. But recently many of them have swung around to the theory that every drunkard is a spineless neurotic, driven to drink by some psychic gnawing.

Last week this theory got a bucket of cold water thrown right in its face. In the New England Journal of Medicine, hard-headed Psychiatrists Robert Edward Fleming and Kenneth James Tillotson denied that there is any such thing as an "alcoholic personality." Anyone, they said, "can become an alcoholic if he drinks long enough and heavily enough."

The doctors had followed like hawks the zigzag progress of 124...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!