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Alcohol and pleasure - a health perspective 
The idea for 'Alcohol and Pleasure' arose from the basic fact that most people reach for a drink in the expectation that it will bring them pleasure and satisfaction, a fact that is forgotten in the vast literature available on alcohol and social problems associated with alcohol abuse.

Alcohol and Pleasure is a collection of essays and research papers, based on a conference held in New York in 1998 of the same title, by a diverse selection of Professors, Doctors and experts in their specialist fields of anthropology, sociology and alcohol research for example.The combination of such an eminent collection of authors, with different approaches, resolutions and styles makes for thought provoking and stimulating reading.

The contributors share a common view that alcohol has a legitimate place in society and a concern that accurate and balanced information should be available to guide individuals in their drinking choices.The aim was to explore the area between the pleasure of most peoples' drinking experiences and the tragic consequences of alcohol abuse. The book is divided into six parts. Part 1 entitled Pleasure and Health, surveys evidence which points to pleasure as an essential element of physical and mental health and discusses the resulting implications for Public Health policy. Part 2, Pleasure and Alcohol cross-culturally, provides a series of case studies , by authors such as Professor Dwight Heath, examining the impact of pleasure on the nature and trends in drinking in both the developing and developed world.

Part 3, Alcohol and Medical, Psychological and Social Health, reviews the range of health benefits that are drawn from moderate consumption of alcohol and the extent that these allow for positive health recommendations on drinking. Part 4, entitled Drinking Expectations and Contexts, explores the array of non-pharmacological factors that add to, modify or direct human reactions to alcohol, including differences based on age and gender. Part 5 then tackles Pleasure and Alcohol Policy and questions evolving concepts of health as found in the WHO Quality of Life project, concluding that if pleasure is taken as an important indicator of health, there is ground for formulating more flexible alcohol policies.

Alcohol and Pleasure discusses alcohol misuse, binge drinking and dependent drinkers. Solutions are offered in 'Reducing harmful drinking' and strong emphasis is placed on individual responsibility, education and the proper initiation of the young to responsible drinking.

Alcohol and Pleasure - a Health perspective makes an important contribution to the debate on alcohol and its role in society, it discusses a vast array of topics and makes essential reading for all those involved, or interested in alcohol and social issues.

Alcohol and Pleasure- a Health Perspective is published by Brunner /Mazel Publishers47 Runway Road, Suite G, Levittown, PA 19057 USA tel 800 821 8312 ISBN 1-583910158

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