More than 30 years have passed since medical leadership in the United States began to give official recognition to alcholism as a medical and public health problem. During this period, there have been significant strides toward understanding the complex relationship between alcohol and the human body and mind. Alcoholism has emerged from the proverbial "closet" of stigma and is now a subject of considerable public concern. Substantial resources—private and public; local, state, and federal—have been brought to bear on alcohol research and education and on the treatment of drinking problems. Within the medical profession, a small but dedicated group of physicians have contributed wisdom and leadership to a national effort aimed at effectively reducing the devastations of alcohol abuse to health and human well-being.
Ironically, although evidence regarding the contribution of alcohol abuse to heightened morbidity and mortality has mounted, the medical profession at-large has persisted in neglecting the relevance