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December 1972

Actions of Alcohol, vol 1 & 2.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;130(6):971-972. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.03650060155033

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Alcoholism is a serious disease. In many respects, overindulgence in alcohol is more serious than self-administered overdosage of, say, adrenal corticosteroids. In the latter case, overuse destroys the user, but in the case of alcohol it destroys those around him as well. Over indulgence in alcohol is a euphemism—alcohol poisoning is more descriptive.

Before one considers alcoholism one must first consider alcohol, because in all probability it has the broadest ramifications of any drug. For example, one aspect is political. The huge excise taxes collected by the government are a consideration of profound influence should a question of control come up—assuming that control is desired. Another ramification is societal—alcohol is a sort of "pot" or marijuana of which society heartily approves. This virtually encourages alcoholism. It is only when the alcoholic is on the skids—for drunken driving, arrests, loss of job, or splintering of the immediate family—that society invokes its

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