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October 27, 1951

PSYCHOTHERAPY IN PATHOLOGICAL DRINKING

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia

JAMA. 1951;147(9):813-815. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670260015004
Abstract

Within the time permitted it will be necessary to state conclusions somewhat positively without developing the premises on which the conclusions are based. I believe that the basic treatment of pathological drinking should be largely psychological and reeducational and not pharmacological. In my opinion the long list of drugs, to which tetraethylthiuramdisulfide (antabuse®) is a recent addition, has not made much treatment impress on alcoholism. If my hypothesis that pathological drinking is chiefly due to emotional immaturity dated in childhood is correct, then one would scarcely expect drugs to deal successfully with the issue, which is one of psychopathology rather than tissue damage. Incidentally, the use of tetraethylthiuramdisulfide is not without danger, perhaps particularly to the liver, and I have seen it produce severe psychotic reactions.1 Briefly, I will divide my treatment concept into two subjects—psychological and reeducational conditions of treatment and physical adjuncts.

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND REEDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS OF 

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