Medicine: New Insights into Alcoholism

A major study tackles basic questions about problem drinking

Everybody knows an alcoholic, and everybody thinks he knows why the person drinks. Weak character. No self-control. Had a miserable childhood. Has a terrible marriage. Cannot face reality. Hates work. Is paranoid. The denials and rationalizations, the self-pity and selfimportance, the guilt and anguish are all parts of a predetermined type, the "alcoholic personality." Right?

Wrong. The alcoholic personality is the result of alcoholism, not the cause. This is the most startling and original conclusion of a new landmark study, The Natural History of Alcoholism:...

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