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February 19, 1955

The Treatment of the Alcoholic

JAMA. 1955;157(8):692. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950250066049

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The author's aim in this volume is to give a "complete, up-to-date presentation of the potentialities and limitations of treatment." He does this admirably. He emphasizes the alcoholic and not alcoholism. A wide range of problems is dealt with, including theories on etiology, psychological and physiological manifestations, psychotherapy, and somatic aids, all aiming toward an integrated therapy of the alcoholic person in the environment in which he lives. The clinical descriptions, the programs for the treatment of the acute states, and the planning of long-range management are complete and clearly presented. The author reserves the use of steroids for the acute states and considers conditioned reflex therapy and disulfiram (Antabuse) as essential tools but only for getting the additional necessary treatment started. This latter includes a discussion of family problems, education of family and friends, and the use of meaningful diversions and moral supports. It is emphasized that the only

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