WHY DRINKING CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU by

WHY DRINKING CAN BE GOOD FOR YOU

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A pop question-and-answer book by the Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, HEW, on the benefits as well as the perils of alcohol. By his account, the benefits are mostly temporary relief of minor problems (shyness, tension) that can be overcome permanently without chemicals. He is good on appropriate social attitudes toward alcoholics and informative about alcoholism's symptoms, though he accepts as different kinds of problem drinking what are probably stages in a progression. He also tells what makes a drinker's nose red. Unfortunately, Chafetz is naive about the significance of recent medical research. Though hedging his bets, he supports the view that some alcoholics can drink socially. To interpret recent small experiments showing minority controlled drinking over a short period as evidence against permanent abstinence seems like being cheerful about Russian roulette with five chambers loaded. Despite a pat on the head for Alcoholics Anonymous, he appears not to notice that AA not only provided recovery long before the doctors, but is a far richer source of data than the research projects. More generally, he shares society's spreading ambivalence and confusion about alcohol itself: despite his attempts to sound jolly, his rules for safe drinking sound like the safety code for nitroglycerine.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1976
Publisher: Stein & Day