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Yale Savants Stress Alcoholism As True Disease
© The A.A.
Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Howard W. Haggard
E. M. Jellinek
© The A.A.
Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
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