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June 28, 1985

The Alcohol Prescription-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Rockville, Md

JAMA. 1985;253(24):3549-3550. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480057010

In Reply.—  It is difficult to respond to all of Mr Meister's implications since they are largely based on erroneous or inappropriate assumptions. Several points, however, need clarification.I did not fail in an attempt to write a "prescription for society" since I made no such attempt. I stand by my comments that physicians should not prescribe beverage alcohol; I believe that they would do well to apply the same risk-benefit assessment to the use of this drug that they do with other psychoactive drugs. Mr Meister offers no convincing arguments to refute my position. I also made no statements about "zero-risk situations." Since I am not certain there are zero-risk situations it seems advisable to recommend consumption for those who drink be limited to low-risk situations, a position that I sincerely hope Mr Meister and others in the alcohol beverage industry would adopt.I am not quick to assume that "beverages" rather than individuals