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J Stud Alcohol. 1985 May;46(3):181-90.

A later follow-up of a classic case series: D. L. Davies's 1962 report and its significance for the present.


In 1962, D. L. Davies published a classic study reporting that seven men "alcohol addicts" had returned to sustained "normal drinking" over a follow-up period of 7-11 yr. His findings are summarized and his methodology is reviewed. An account is given of a later follow-up of the same subjects, extending the total observation period to approximately 29-34 yr. Multiple information sources were used whenever possible. Evidence suggests that five subjects experienced significant drinking problems both during Davies's original follow-up period and subsequently, that three of these five at some time also used psychotropic drugs heavily, and that the two remaining subjects (one of whom was never severely dependent on alcohol) engaged in trouble-free drinking over the total period. Davies's pioneering work is seen today as pointing to a set of crucial but still largely unresolved questions in this research area, and these issues are briefly discussed. A plea is made for an open scientific climate within which the possibility of a "return to normal drinking" for alcoholics can be further and dispassionately explored without partisanship.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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