Medicine: Family Men

The notion that the typical alcoholic is an elderly bum or a friendless misfit dates from the days when drunks were observed mostly in police courts and state hospitals. Dr. Robert Straus and Dr. Selden D. Bacon, sociologists at the Yale Center of Alcoholic Studies, decided to get some up-to-date information by sifting through the case histories of 2,023 alcoholics treated at the Yale Plan Clinic and others like it. Their findings: the average clinic patient is 41, married and living with his family, has held a job involving skill or responsibility for three years or more.

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