Alcohol: The World's Favorite Drug

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Macmillan, 2003 - History - 240 pages
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Alcohol is everywhere. Walk down any street in the western world and before long your feet will kick against an empty beer can, or your attention will be captured by an alluring advertisement that suggests that alcohol can magically transform your life. Its use is integral to many aspects of popular culture, but it is also a substance that has at times been preached against and even prohibited.

In this book, Griffith Edwards uses both history and chemistry to explore the whole issue of alcohol. Is it medicine, a delightful potion, poison, or a mysterious combination of all three? What part has alcohol played in various cultures and religions? Why do different people behave differently when drunk? What cures for habitual inebriation were popular in the past? Why is alcoholism considered a disease? What is "safe drinking"? Is alcohol good for the heart? Do current treatments work? Does Alcoholics Anonymous have the answer?

Armed with the best solid information science, history, and sociology have to offer, Edwards asks how, in the light of this knowledge, society might in the future better handle this pleasure-giving, somewhat dangerous drug. Can society get its pleasure out of alcohol without the inevitable suffering that accompanies misuse? If so, what steps should we take to protect ourselves and others?

Already considered in England to be a classic in the field, Alcohol will prove to be fascinating reading for the drinker and nondrinker alike.

 

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ALCOHOL: The World's Favorite Drug

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A scientist probes the nature of alcohol and the myths, sentiments, and ambiguities that surround it.Edwards (emeritus/National Addiction Centre, Univ. of London), editor-in-chief of the journal ... Read full review

Alcohol: the world's favorite drug

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Edwards, a psychiatrist, professor emeritus of addiction behavior at the University of London, editor in chief of the scientific journal Addiction, and a member of the World Health Organization Expert ... Read full review

Contents

Alcohol What is It?
Alcohol Myths and Metaphors
10
A Short History of Drunkenness
28
Thomas Nashes Menagerie
45
Alcohol is a Drug of Dependence
56
The American Prohibition Experiment
71
Calling Alcoholism a Disease
91
Alcoholics Anonymous
101
The Mysterious Essences of Treatment
134
Once an Alcoholic
146
Molecule as Medicine
163
The Drinkers Dilemma
179
Ambiguous Futures
189
Sources and Further Reading
205
Index
221
Copyright

In the Name of Treatment
116

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About the author (2003)

Griffith Edwards is one of the world's leading experts on alcohol. Born in India, he received his MD from Oxford University. For 40 years Edwards has made a specialty of being both fair-minded and catholic in his study of alcoholism. He has made the Addiction Research Unit - more recently the National Addiction Center - at the Maudsley Hospital in London, the finest international center for postgraduate education in addiction in the world. He is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal, Addiction. For many years he has been a frequent visitor to the US and was a consultant to the White House Office on the prevention of drug abuse. He has been awarded many major international scientific prizes, including the Nathan B. Eddy medal of the US College on Problems of Drug Dependence, the Jellinek Memorial Prize, and the annual award of the American Educational and Research Society on Alcohol. He was named a Commander of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 1987, awarded for services to social science and medicine. Married with two grown-up children, he and his wife live in Greenwich, England.

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