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Alcoholism: The Genetic Inheritance

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Some critics maintain that the concept of alcoholism as a disease has been pushed too far because it tends to absolve heavy drinkers of responsibility. FitzGerald brushes over this controversy, arguing that compulsive drinking is a hereditary, progressive illness caused by irregular body chemistry. This primer on the causes and cure of ``Jellinek's disease,'' as she calls alcoholism (after the Yale doctor who investigated its biochemical roots) summarizes the clinical evidence for physical dependency and outlines stages of addiction. The author is herself a recovering alcoholic and novelist (The Good Sisters). She illuminates the crucial roles played by the problem drinker's family membersthe spouse who acts as Enabler, children who become Mascots, Scapegoats or Super Kids. Helpful advice on influencing the alcoholic to confront his or her problem is interwoven with mini-case histories. Appendixes include six checklists for alcoholics and family members seeking help. (July)
Library Journal
Most of the 12 chapters in this book could stand alone as independent titles in a collection, for each brings out one aspect of the constellation that is alcoholism: denial, cross-addiction, effect on children, co-dependency, intervention, detoxification, A.A., recovery, and government policy. The case histories are well chosen to illustrate the topics. Though the author believes in the disease concept of alcoholism, using the term ``Jellinek's diesease,'' she does not marshal all available evidence for it nor refute Fingarette's Heavy Drinking ( LJ 5/1/88), which debunks the disease concept. Yet if one overlooks a tendency to exhort, this is an empathetic overview of the contemporary meaning of alcoholism to the individual and to the family. Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385199339
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1988
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 264

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