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Two Yale Savants Stress Alcoholism As True Disease

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944

At the launching of The Grapevine, we wish to express our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for the success of this new publication. The invitation to contribute a note on the Yale Plan Clinics to the first issue of your Journal, confirms our belief in the close relation between the broad studies we have undertaken on all aspects of alcoholism.

The first Yale Plan Clinics, which are at New Haven and Hartford, were established by the Laboratory of Applied Physiology of Yale University in cooperation with the Connecticut Prison Association. This most recent venture does not stand by itself, but is closely integrated with the researches and educational activities of the Laboratory. These three activities represent a broad scheme in which rehabilitation of the alcoholic and the prevention of inebriety are equal goals.

The Clinics serve several purposes and it is hard to say which purpose ranks first. As long as the general public is not aware of the fact that alcoholism is a disease, the most important object of the Clinics is to spread this idea until it is fully accepted. For the time being, this object may be placed ahead of the guidance of alcoholics. Another object is to further the development of community resources which could be utilized in the rehabilitation of alcoholics. At present, in many cases therapy must be undertaken at the Clinics because of the scarcity of other resources. But when those facilities shall have been developed, based, perhaps, on recommendations coming from the experience of the Clinics, the latter will limit their activity solely to the guiding of alcoholics to those facilities which according to diagnosis seem to be the most promising in the individual case. Such guidance is being practiced at present at the Clinics in bringing suitable cases into contact with the local groups of Alcoholics Anonymous. It goes without saying that one of our objectives is to further interest and confidence in Alcoholics Anonymous among those who have not heard of it or who are inadequately informed.

The contacts of the Clinics with the courts, with various departments of State government and with civic agencies will contribute greatly to bring about adequate understanding of the nature of alcoholism, of the utilization of the existing, and the development of needed, facilities.

The Clinics in giving physical examinations to all alcoholics who come for advice bring to their attention physical ailments which all too frequently are neglected. The treatment of such ailments does not lie within the activities of the Clinics, but the Clinics facilitate contacts with hospitals or private practitioners.

The Clinics have been in operation only two months and thus a report on "results" is not justified. It is, however, worth reporting that out of 70 alcoholics who up to date have availed themselves of the Clinics, 22 have come without being "referred," but solely from their own desire for help. The remainder have been sent by their relatives, by the courts, social agencies, hospitals, and private practitioners. Local groups of Alcoholics Anonymous have sent four men either for diagnosis of nervous complications or for physical examination. Numerous inquiries have been recieved from court officers and municipal administrators throughout the country concerning the feasibility of establishing clinics in other cities. The indications are that there is a wide interest in the rehabilitation of alcoholics and that only direction is needed to give it full display.

The problem of the alcoholic is to great to be solved by any one person or even by any one organization. The cooperation of all individuals and all organizations, based on mutual respect and understanding of each other's aims, is needed to bring success to the efforts of all those who are interested in bringing back the alcoholic into the life of the community.

New Haven, Connecticut
Howard W. Haggard
E. M. Jellinek

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944

In practicing our Traditions, The AA Grapevine, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are they affiliated with Silkworth.net.
The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.

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