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By Stanton Peele

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5 And although it may be true that these groups do not hold sway over their members as they did in earlier decades in America, they nonetheless demonstrate how powerful, enduring, and decisive socialization by family, religious, and cultural groups can be in insulating people throughout their lives against addiction. How do these groups teach the value of moderation? Glassner and Berg identified four factors or techniques that enabled Jews to avoid drinking problems (and which in fact closely resemble what we saw of Chinese American techniques): Learning moderate drinking in childhood.

He’d had too much to drink and it made everyone uncomfortable. I guess our friends just are not heavy drinkers. . ” Refusal skills. ” A typical respondent declared, “If everybody is drinking and I feel like having a drink I’ll have a drink. ” Viewing alcoholics as outsiders. Jewish respondents associated heavy drinking and alcoholism with non-Jews. The authors noted that Jews commonly use the Yiddish expression shikker vie a goy (drunk as a Gentile). As one respondent claimed, “It sounds like a stupid generalization, but non-Jewish people drink more heavily than Jewish people.

16 If we accept Calvin Klein’s logic—that he could never succeed without continually attending support groups—we see why he was so primed to relapse. Treatment convinced him that he could not carry on successfully without group support. Kitty Dukakis received a similar self-fulfilling message in treatment at Edgehill-Newport: if she ever touched alcohol again, she was doomed to disaster. Whereas she had throughout her life drunk alcohol moderately, with a few episodes of abuse, she now believed that she had a permanent compulsion to get drunk, an urge that she quickly demonstrated once she left the hospital.

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