Reader Baylen Linnekin–full disclosure: he's a Web guy for the Drug Policy Alliance–calls attention to two recent pieces in the Wash Post that deal with alcoholism. What's interesting about both stories is that they essentially take place in a world where moderate drinking doesn't exist. [Update: Jacob Sullum analyzes one of them in some detail below.]
Both stories strongly suggest that you're either dry or all wet–a Manichean view that is both mistaken and pervasive when it comes to American policies on all intoxicants.
The first is about the new hagiographic bio of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson by Susan Cheever–full disclosure: daughter of famous writer/drunk who now lives on mostly as a punchline in Seinfeld reruns.
The second is a column in which education writer Jay Mathews lays into parents who allow any underage drinking. Full disclosure: He touts his own extreme sobriety as a badge of honor.
Here's a Reason piece worth reading in this context:
"After the Crash," by Stanton Peele, which looks at alternative treatment regimens to the abstinence-based AA.
Peele's Web site is worth spending a couple of hours at. And here's a memorable interview he gave to Suck back in 2000, when the nation was still getting over the last-minute revelation that George W. Bush had lied about his drunk-driving record.