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Alcoholism Social Drinking and Other Myths

Updated on June 28, 2009

This is an abbreviated version of a one hour lecture the author gave at various functions about ten thousand times. Also I wrote a dissertation on chemical dependency and the family.

If you know anyone who has an out of control drug problem, the dynamics for alcohol and drugs are the same. All mood altering chemicals proceed through the pleasure center in he brain and interact with human, natural endorphines that produce the desired affect of high-ness.

The only difference between beer and liquor, and speed and sedatives is the desired result is a learned preference. Here are some seemingly baffling questions the author answered in his thesis and book in 1985 (with lots of help from George Valeant)

Why is one sibling an alcoholic and another steadfastedly against all chemicals, even though both parents may have tried alcohol or still drink? why do twins reaised apart have similar alcoholism rates as twins raised together, in the same environment?

Why is alcoholism a disease and why may an alcoholic not go back to social drinking without the usual horrific consequences? How many times do they say: "I'm gonna quit! I promise! I have just lost too much!" Why alcoholics are angry ( at least at home, they are a riot at the bar).

Why alcoholism is not defined by how much one drinks. Why early, cordial consumption of alcohol in the home, such as wine with dinner, leads to less alcoholism.

In 1985, researchers, including yours truly, led with the notion, which was not always well received, that

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