An Alcoholism Book For The Acu Clinic Shelf


Despite the obscuring effect of the war on drugs, most of the world's addicts remain "subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm." News media obsess on smuggling cartels and the latest designer chemicals, ignoring how mundane ethanol keeps eating away at the entire social fabric.

Even in many acu detox sites, the clinical significance of alcohol addiction is too little noted. Drug courts, aimed as they are against illicit drugs, often skimp on attention to the huge role that liquor plays among the offender participants. Some therapeutic communities see social drinking as an okay behavior for their graduates. Many narcotic-centered outpatient programs, whether or not methadone-based, tend to ignore or soft-pedal the vast amount of risky use of alcohol that goes on among their clientele.

To the extent that this neglect is a function of ignorance, a remedy now appears in an easily read and inexpensive new book, Beyond the Influence. It confronts in a clinically sound manner the basic questions: How can you tell an alcoholic? What causes alcoholism? What does it mean to define alcoholism as a disease? The information offered is scientifically up to date - important just now, as the field undergoes a neurological knowledge explosion - and fully refutes the moralism and victim-blaming still so common in society and the health care system.

The book goes on to detail what constitutes high quality treatment. It explains the need to account for the physical, psychological, spiritual and dietary components of recovery. And, unlike any other comprehensive handbook on alcoholism, this one acknowledges the role that acupuncture can play in treatment. It also details other alternative therapies such as exercise, vitamins, herbs and amino acids, which the authors conclude offer significant promise. (Disclosure: The editor of this newsletter served as a consultant on the preparation of this book and contributed heavily to the section on acupuncture.)

Lead author Kathy Ketcham has a strong background of authorship in both the addiction and holistic health fields. She appeared as co-author of Under the Influence, a revolutionary alcoholism text of the 1980s. That book sold more than a million copies, and opened the way for Bantam to bring out this much updated sequel.

Health-related books aimed at a popular audience too often promote overly simple solutions and make exaggerated claims for the novelty of their particular approach. Ketcham and her colleagues avoid these sins. While devising a mass appeal, they do not abandon the. clinically-precious culture of recovery which already exists in Western society. They honor and value both professional treatment and the 12 Step tradition while linking these to a fully holistic approach to sobriety.

Without hesitation, addiction programs can recommend this book not only to clinical staff, but also to patients, family members and persons in the community who are (or should be) concerned about alcoholism. Even full body acupuncturists in general practice would gain from having this book available for those inevitable times when alcoholism, or its secondary effect, emerges as a patient issue.

J&M Reports, LLC.

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