This book bridges the gap between the modern scientific account of alcohol problems and popular perceptions. In particular, it presents detailed evidence that problem drinking is not a disease as many believe but a learned behavioral disorder that should be treated as such. The disease concept of alcoholism, the authors argue, classifies people not behavior patterns, and it directs treatment toward something people "have" rather than something they do. This results in an unnecessarily rigid and complex approach to health care. The behavioral concept on the other hand, while equally compassionate, allows for much more flexible treatment options. The practical implications of this "paradigm change" in thinking are explored, with particular reference to several programs that hold valuable lessons for the health-care community. This revised edition has been updated to include major developments that have taken place within the last five years, with their implications for the future of alcohol treatment. As the first attempt to communicate directly to the general public and students of the subject the most current scientific knowledge concerning alcohol abuse, this work has broad significance for general readers as well as for doctors, alcohol counsellors, health educators and policy makers.