From the November 1968 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Confusion and Conflict

The alcoholic is still strongly stigmatized. Despite recent court rulings calling alcoholism a "disease," despite public education efforts to overcome the historic view of the public that the alcoholic is a morally inferior person who willfully drinks abusively, the victims of this disorder continue to be despised by many people, and to receive extremely low priority within the social order.

Unfortunately, the health professions do not seem to be greatly different from the general public in their attitudes. There are, of course, certain notable exceptions. But the evidence suggests that the confusion and conflict about drinking that mark the attitude of the general public also mark that of much of the professional community. One cannot help wanting to believe that this is due in large part to the very substantial lack of training in alcoholism in medical schools, in psychiatric residency programs, and in schools of social work. The persons whose lives are impaired by excessive drinking would seem, by their very numbers alone, to make appropriate a much greater emphasis on training in alcoholism than is now the case in all but a handful of training facilities.

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