What are the psychological factors in drinking? Motivation is a basic factor in human behavior. Motivation underlies the use of alcohol. All users of alcohol are motivated by some personal need. Conformity are social drinkers, those who drink on ritual occasions, wouldn’t get drunk. Facilitation of sociability release from shyness and use drinking as a social lubricant. Modifying reality drinkers usually changes personality such as from meek to aggressive, calm to profane, may not drink for weeks or months, but once he starts it may go on for days. Mitigation of illness are people who are at odds with society even when sober.They usually exhibit chronic feelings of anxiety, fear, or other emotional disturbances. They are usually lower in the intelligence scale. When drinking, they become a menace to themselves as well as others.
What help is available for psychological cases? The Yale Plan and A.A. are similar. Both work on the plan of total and permanent abstinence. The Yale Clinic has found that the vast majority of cases show an emotional disturbance from childhood. These disturbances of home life, divorce, parental domination, etc., leave a warped personality that reaches for the crutch of alcohol, but a treacherous crutch it is. The final stage is reached when the fantasy world of intoxication is more appealing than the real world of sobriety. There is no drug that will cure drinking and the rehabilitation of a drunk is long and tedious. His personality must be rebuilt. The treatment of alcoholics must be put on the level of the treatment of cancer and heart disease by the public in order to insure proper treatment in alcoholic clinics. The public must view alcoholism as a mental disease instead of the result of a weak-willed individual.
In stating that drinking is a mental disease might lead some to think that it means that drinking is a problem for the doctor instead of the DD. However, just as crime is a joint problem of the political faction of our society with the religious, so is drinking a joint problem of the political, medical and religious.
Let me ask the broad question, “What interest has the church in drinking?” and then break it down into more pointed questions. Has the church any interest in alcohol? Should the church be for temperance or abstinence? If the church be for abstinence, how can it accomplish it? If the church be for temperance, how can it accomplish it? If you are for abstinence or temperance, how can you teach your children?