Document Detail

Alcoholism as blaming the alcoholic.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1254368     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Theories of alcoholism tend to blame the alcoholic by implying that most American drinkers have an ability, which the alcoholic lacks, to drink without problems. The presence or absence of this ability or capacity presumably accounts for the incidence of alcohol problems in society. But we normally apply the idea of an ability or a capacity only after an individual has been exposed to the risk of problems from a hazard or difficult task, and when an individual avoids these problems by their efforts. On this point survey data reveal that most American drinkers have a rather limited exposure to alcohol and are not at risk for problems. It is likely that it is this low exposure to alcohol-rather than some drinking ability-that accounts for the absence of problems. Moreover, the entire practice of treating drinking and the occurrence of problems in the idiom of individual abilities, capacities, or control can be shown to be incorrect and is systematically misleading. A public health approach to alcohol problems is needed that identifies the risks for all associated with hazardous intakes of alcohol and that seeks to reduce these hazards chiefly by reducing the overall consumption of alcohol.
D E Beauchamp
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The International journal of the addictions     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0020-773X     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Addict     Publication Date:  1976  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1976-06-02     Completed Date:  1976-06-02     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0123640     Medline TA:  Int J Addict     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  41-52     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking*
Alcoholism / etiology*,  prevention & control
Legislation, Drug
Social Control, Formal
Social Control, Informal
Social Environment
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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