There are a number of studies that have found a connection between having PTSD and the use of alcohol in order to self-medicate distressing thoughts or feelings related to traumatic experiences.
While self-medicating with alcohol may be common, it too often brings more problems that it solves. Fortunately, we are living in times where there are great amounts of information available to us, on the insidious effects of the abuse of mind-altering chemicals.
Years ago, I became familiar with the work of Dr. Joseph A. Pursch, M.D. Back in 1968, Dr. Pursch was a luncheon speaker at an overseas officer’s club. He was booked as the Navy’s medical expert on drug abuse. His topic was “Drug Abuse Among Young Soldiers.”
Dr. Pursch found that while he was “enlightening” his audience about young soldiers getting high on marijuana and LSD, the officers themselves were getting loaded on booze. Pursch had a sudden realization. The youngsters were on pot and pills, and their bosses were on booze and beer!
Pursch notes that from that day on it was easy for him to see “the big chemical picture.” This well-known and respected psychiatrist is now one of the most notable addiction specialists around.
His book “Dear Doc” has helped me immensely and I’m posting a review here in order to sing his praises and share his knowledge. It’s a classic and phenomenal work on alcoholism and drug abuse.
Dear Doc…The Noted Authority answers your questions on drinking and drugs
—Dr. Joseph Pursch
This book is an absolute must for anyone needing to understand the complexities of alcoholism. Dr. Joseph A. Pursch, a psychiatrist, is a nationally recognized leader in the field of alcohol and drug abuse.
He has treated many well-known figures such as Betty Ford, Billy Carter, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and thousands of others, both famous and not-so-famous. Dr. Pursch also has achieved an impressive military career, serving as a Navy flight surgeon, as well as becoming the director of the Alcohol Rehabilitation Service at the Navy’s Regional Medical Center in Long Beach, California.
The question and answer format of the book is very effective in helping educate the reader on the many aspects of the disease and how it affects family members, as well as those who come in contact with people suffering from addiction to booze or other chemicals.
In the Introduction, Pursch writes, “What’s a nice person like you doing with a book like this? Chances are you don’t have an alcohol or drug problem yourself, but you know somebody who does. You probably want to learn more about it, or maybe even do something about it.”
This book answers the question “When does “normal” use end and alcohol and drug abuse begin? On p. 10, the author observes our American way of drinking:
“We drink when we hear good news, when we hear bad news, when we go off to war, to celebrate peace, to commemorate a birth or mourn a death. We drink at birthdays, reunions, Christmas, Halloween, and New Year’s Eve. Drinking goes with courting (“Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker,” said Ogden Nash), with engagements, marriages, anniversaries, and nowadays, even with divorces.”
While the problem is pervasive, Dr. Pursch offers hope and encouragement that with the proper help, recovery is possible . Continue reading 'Check Out This Excellent Book on Drinking and Drug Abuse–by Dr. Joseph A. Pursch'»