Behavior: Moderation for Drunks

Behavior experts have begun to question the long-accepted wisdom that no alcoholic can learn to drink in moderation. In fact, a few recent experiments have indicated that some alcoholics might learn to become social drinkers (TIME, March 15, 1971). Now further evidence comes from the Alcoholism Research Unit in Baltimore City Hospitals. There, according to a report in Behaviour Research and Therapy, alcoholics who were promised a reward for moderation were able to stop after five drinks or fewer.

The subjects were 19 hospitalized chronic alcoholics. All were told that they could have one-ounce drinks whenever they asked for them, with...

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