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December 26, 1959


Author Affiliations

Corsicana, Texas; Omaha, Neb.

From the Medical Arts Clinic, Corsicana, Texas and the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute, Omaha.

JAMA. 1959;171(17):2299-2303. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010350021005

Treatment for the chronic alcoholic, after a prolonged bout of alcohol ingestion, must attempt to correct the effects of alcohol on the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, the possible damage to the liver, and any existing malnutrition. The patient is best managed in the hospital, where complete control can be maintained during the period of withdrawal. Water, electrolytes, glucose, and vitamins are administered intravenously until the patient is able to eat. Understanding of the patient's dilemma rather than an attitude of rejection is necessary for rehabilitation.