August 1, 1966

The Alcoholism Program at Hurley Hospital

Author Affiliations

Flint, Mich

JAMA. 1966;197(5):374. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110050112034

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To the Editor:—  Alcoholism responds well to treatment; its prognosis is far from hopeless. But to treat the disease properly, the physician needs motivation. One method of supplying such motivation is to provide the doctor with hospital beds and trained therapists. Almost invariably, the physician will then accept the alcoholic as a patient and give him the treatment his illness requires.But such a program needs a beginning. Ten years ago, a few doctors and interested members of the community in Flint, Mich, set up a group-therapy unit at the Hurley Hospital. The unit's purpose was to assist physicians in handling their alcoholic patients. At first the number of physicians admitting patients with the diagnosis of "alcoholism" was small, and group therapy consisted of only a few hour-long sessions during the patient's stay in the hospital. However, by January 1960, the number of participating physicians had grown; in one month,