[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 10, 1976

Don't Place Alcohol on a Pedestal

Author Affiliations

School of Medicine State University of New York Buffalo
From the School of Medicine, State University of New York, Buffalo.

JAMA. 1976;235(19):2103-2104. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260450015020

I DEPLORE the attempt being made by apparently qualified scientists to develop a technique whereby the proved alcoholic can be taught to drink without slipping into further dependence.

This effort goes far to undermine the prime objectives of those of us who have worked in this field for many years. It seeks to elevate an addictive drug to a kind of sovereign social status so that certain of its victims may try to circumvent its deleterious effects. It flies in the face of endeavors to bring people to the realization that life can be rewarding without resort to drugs. Instead of combating the drug culture that incubates alcohol abuse and helping us to erect sound defenses against it, these comparative newcomers in the field tend rather to regard alcohol as a social necessity, whose drug effect is acceptable, even though dependence has been already established in its victims.

For years,