July 1964

Treatment of Narcotic Addicts in Private Practice

Author Affiliations


Director of Department of Internal Medicine, Richmond Memorial Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):59-66. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070105010

Facilities for the treatment of narcotic addiction have been available only in the federal narcotic hospitals at Forth Worth and Lexington. After years of agitation there are now 785 beds in New York State to serve an addict population of 25,000 known addicts, which is a fraction of the total. Recently four outpatient rehabilitation centers have been established by the City Department of Health, and one clinic has been opened by a religious group. Many addicts would prefer private treatment if it were available.

For a variety of reasons physicians have, in the main, not entered into this form of therapy. There is a paucity of knowledge about addictive diseases. Little of this illness is taught in medical schools. Psychiatric institutions as well as general hospitals rarely admit addicts, and as a result few interns, residents, or practitioners acquire either competence or an interest in this disease.

In addition, there

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