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September 19, 1977

Treatment and Rehabilitation of the Chronic Alcoholic

JAMA. 1977;238(12):1298. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280130080027

This is the fifth and final volume of The Biology of Alcoholism. The five volumes, containing 3,129 pages by more than 100 contributors, are well edited and well documented. The work is the most exhaustive of its kind, and if the editors are a little exhausted themselves, it is understandable. They deserve every kind of praise for a stupendous effort.

The last volume is as good as the others, meaning first-rate. The subject is treatment and rehabilitation. Every base is touched. What the physician can and cannot do; how psychotherapy can and cannot help; what Alcoholics Anonymous does and does not offer— these topics will interest many. Also well examined are group, family, and behavior therapy; halfway houses; the hard-won expertise of the recovered alcoholic as alcoholism counselor; training of professionals; and the role of public treatment programs.

Finally, the editors are scientists by background, and throughout the book one