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August 21, 1987

Branch of Medicine Called 'Narcology' Spearheads Aggressive Soviet Campaign Against Alcoholism

JAMA. 1987;258(7):885-886. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070021006

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ALCOHOLIC PERSONS in the Soviet Union will wait up to three years to be treated by Grigorii Romanovich Dovzhenko, MD, of Feodosiya in the Crimea.

Dovzhenko uses hypnosis and individual psychotherapy. The goal of his treatment is to condition the patient to abstain completely from alcohol for as long a period of time as the patient wishes.

According to Lyudmila Vasilevna Novitskaya-Usenko, MD, an anesthesiologist and director of the Dnepropetrovsk Medical Institute in the Ukraine, Dovzhenko has been treating alcoholic persons for about 40 years, but it has been during the last 15 years that his ideas coalesced and he developed this specific psychotherapeutic method. The treatment is done on an inpatient basis and takes only three days. It combines group and individual psychiatric counseling, in addition to the hypnosis. No drugs are used.

Novitskaya-Usenko said he has now treated more than 12 000 people, and the relapse rate—that is,