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Acc. to the National Council on Alcoholism an alcoholic is one whose drinking causes a continuing problem in his or her life. “For general purposes, alcoholics can be described as those people who drink in a very special way–that is, to excess, compulsively, without control, and self-destructively. The lack of control must be emphasized.” (S. Vogel, “Psychiatric Treatment of Alcoholism,” The Annals of The American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 315 (January 1958), 100.

Alcoholism, the label given this uncontrolled drinking, has been classified as a sickness by the A. M. A. since 1936. It is gen. believed to be symptomatic of unresolved emotional stress.

“The Twenty Questions Test,” compiled by Johns Hopkins U., is an excellent guide in determining whether or not one is an alcoholic. The NCA has suggested a similar test of only 4 questions. Answering yes to any of the following should be considered a warning: Have you had blackouts (periods of temporary amnesia) after drinking? Do you need a drink in the morning? Has drinking interfered with your eating habits? Have you felt remorse after drinking?

Any philos. basic to counseling alcoholics should include: (1) The alcoholic is a sick person. (2) The alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping.

“Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” (44 Questions and Answers)

See also Temperance Movements and the Lutheran Church.

H. J. Clinebell Jr., Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic Through Religion and Psychology, rev. and enl. ed. (Nashville, 1968); J. C. Ford, Man Takes a Drink (New York, 1955); A. R. King, Basic Information on Alcohol (Mt. Vernon, Iowa, 1953); M. Mann, New Primer on Alcoholism (New York, 1958); Alcoholics Anonymous, new and rev. ed. (New York, 1955); 44 Questions and Answers About the Program of Recovery from Alcoholism (New York, 1952); Understanding Alcoholism, ed. S. D. Bacon, The Annals of The American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 315 (January 1958). EFE

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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