LETTER: Doctors and AA

Sir: It is usually impossible to pick an argument with Deborah Orr and so this proved with her last piece until she unexpectedly rounded on "professionals" for, as she put it, "despising" the Alcoholics Anonymous movement.

As a Scot she should be aware that nothing could be further from the truth. In the guidelines for "Management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence in primary care", which all general practitioners in Scotland ignore at their peril, AA is recommended for immediate intervention when there is no other serious psychiatric disorder and, further, it is specifically stated that all alcohol-dependent patients should be encouraged to attend AA. In the "useful information" at the end of the guideline, the only references are to self-help groups (Al-Anon, as well as to the AA and self-help web sites).

Dr PETER MORGAN

Plockton, Highland

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