Summary and Info
It is well known that alcoholism continues to be one of this country's major public health problems. This issue is carefully documented by Dr. Gerald Klerman, Chief of ADAMHA, in the second chapter ofthis volume. In spite of the major role that alcohol plays in the health care issues of internal medicine, neurology, and psychiatry, the subject continues to fall between the cracks of the various disciplines. For this reason, it has become almost a discipline of its own; yet there are no academic departments of alcoholism because academic departments are unidisciplinary and alcoholism is clearly a multidisciplinary field within medicine. In spite of the many disciplines involved in the study and treatment of alcoholism, psychiatry continues to have a special, albeit often neglected, relationship to alcoholism, and it is the articulation ofthat relationship which prompted the Department of Psychiatry at the Downstate Medical Center to organize the conference upon which many chapters in this volume are based. Particular emphasis in selecting the topics to be covered was placed on the interface between alcoholism and clinical psychiatry, including affective disorders, schizophrenia, suicide, adolescence, the special problems of women, and psychotherapy, to mention only some of them.
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