This book is written for a truly general medical audience. Clinicians, researchers, residents, and students will find Al cohol a direct treatment of the major drug problem in Amer ica. Along with the first volume in this series on marijuana, Alcohol is timely and relevant. The subject is presented with clarity in an effort to provide professionals and interested readers with a basic background in the field of alcohol studies. The emphasis is on what is known and can be coun ted on as fundamental knowledge on the various aspects of history, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism. Because drugs other than alcohol are such an important feature of the contemporary alcoholic, they are covered as a part of the natural history of alcoholism. Change and progress are essential to knowledge; past and current research in the alcohol field, as well as detailed discussions of what further needs to be investigated, are in cluded in the volume. The student as well as the practitioner vii viii PREFACE will find the contents useful for didactic purposes as well as a clinical reference. We believe that the researcher will also profit from the comprehensive coverage of the subject. The chapters are organized in sections to highlight important topics and are arranged in a sequence to ensure a logical de velopment of the subject, alcohol. Throughout the book we combine our clinical and research experiences to provide a synthesis that we hope will have widespread clinical usefulness. N.S.M.