Imbibing by the Numbers

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(2), 130–131. Reviews the book, Workers Who Drink: Their Treatment in an Industrial Setting by Carl J. Schramm, Wallace Mandell, and Janet Archer (1978). This a very thorough, detailed, heavily statistical account of a noble effort to set up an outpatient clinic for alcoholic workers. The project described was an Employee Health Program (EHP) established in Baltimore in 1973 and running through 1976. It was a cooperative effort between 12 major employers and 14 local labor unions. It deals substantially more with organizational and support problems, procedures, and demographics than with the alcoholic as a person. It was interesting to read that the job satisfaction of those who were referred was about the same as that of a matched sample of 100 nonalcoholic worker. The success of the program was measured primarily in terms of continued attendance at the clinic and job retention. The book would have been considerably enlivened for this reader if it had contained some good, old-fashioned, nonscientific, anecdotal material, allowing some feeling of empathy with the success or failure of the patients. Alcoholics are people, too, not just numbers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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