Alcohol and the Liver
Alcohol abuse is this culture's most important drug problem. Statistics indicate that it is exacting a great and relentlessly increasing toll of human suffering. It is clear that the problem is not being dealt with in any effective manner. At the invitation of the. Canadian Hepatic Foundation, many of the world's experts gathered in Toronto, May 14-15 1976, to focus attention on one of the most important aspects of the alcohol problem -alcohol induced liver damage. The epidemiology of alcohol induced liver disease was discussed and current views on the pathogenesis of the problem were reviewed. New insight into the pathological alterations of the liver was presented and some of our current therapeutic capabilities were discussed. Dr. Hans Popper summarized the Symposium and presented some of his views on those aspects of the problem which will require early attention by the research community. The Symposium achieved its immediate objective -that of bringing together the committed experts of various disciplines for an updating of our understanding of alcohol and the liver and for a discussion of new approaches to the problem. As a backdrop to the Symposium, however, was large writing on the wall to the effect that we are expending our research talents and efforts on a totally unnecessary problem. Right now we probably know enough and have sufficient resources at our disposal to solve the problem.