Illinois Medical Journal

Big Book Reviews

Illinois Medical Journal

January 20, 1940

TO THE EDITOR: Of great interest to the medical profession is the new approach to a cure for chronic alcoholism developed by alcoholics themselves.

Every physician has been confronted with the problem of the incurable alcoholic. He who although sobered and apparently sane as a result of medical aid suffers the usual and expected relapse and returns to the physician or to the sanitarium for another round of treatment. In his remorse he solemnly rejects alcohol in any form. He then endures a short period of sobriety and again returns to drunkenness.

Alcoholics are the last to admit their ability to "drink like gentlemen," and therefore are prone to devise ways and means, or systems for indulgence, which although inaugurated with sincere intent at the time seem never to serve their purpose. They act only as the forerunners to bigger and better sprees.

The chronic alcoholic seldom can be cured until he reaches a point at which he admits his inability to cope with his problem and has in addition a sincere desire to achieve complete and lasting sobriety.

The chronic alcoholic resents the efforts made by his relatives and friends to help him. He feels they do not understand him nor his problem. But when he talks to people who themselves have been drunkards he realizes that these people do understand for they have had the same personal experiences.


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