From the July 1968 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Personal Opinion - 'The Safe Way to Drink'

Dr. William B. Terhune, director emeritus of Silver Hill in New Canaan, Conn., is a psychiatrist with extensive experience with treatment of middle and upper income group alcoholics--and they make up the majority (about 80%) of alcoholics in the United States. And so his new book The Safe Way to Drink, published by Morrow, is recommended reading for those social drinkers who may be a trifle apprehensive about excessive drinking in their own social drinking group.

In dividing inebriation into four degrees he has done social drinkers a great good favor. Unless the members of our social drinking society are ready to accept the fact that their first pair of cocktails places them in the category of first degree inebriation, enjoying mild euphoria, slightly relaxed, less self-conscious, proclaiming their feelings of well-being by loosening of the tongue and improvement of personality decorated with a pleasant smile, they may not get much out of Dr. Terhune's book. Second degree inebriation, for example, is marked by loss of self-critical faculties, impaired judgment, overreacting, discussion of confidential matters, off color stories, erotic gestures and irresponsibility. Third degree inebriation is typical drunken behavior, noisiness, irritability, argumentativeness, bad manners, cruelty, excessive emotionalism, total lack of consideration, flushing or red spots on the skin, overt sexual advances, maudlin behavior ending in nausea, dullness or falling asleep. Fourth degree inebriation is marked by inability to stand or walk, irregular breathing, decrease of skin temperature, dilation of pupils and loss of sphincter control with unconsciousness or coma. Beyond first degree inebriation it is difficult for the majority of social drinkers to judge their own condition.

-- Perception Greater Boston Council o

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