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Myths, Labels of Alcoholism

August 30, 1985

There is a great deal of authority behind the conviction that alcoholism is a disease. Who says so? Only the American Medical Assn., the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Psychiatric Assn., Alcoholics Anonymous and the National Council on Alcoholism.

What makes the Vatz and Weinberg assertions dangerous is that one of the first steps in recovery that AA advocates is that the drunk must recognize that he or she is not a morally weak or degenerate character but a person afflicted with a disease and that, contrary to your two experts, AA urges the victim to recognize that he is not responsible for his disease but that he certainly must assume responsibility for his recovery.

I suggest that the two professors attend a few AA meetings before they write any further nonsense about alcoholism.

BEN IRWIN

Studio City

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