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May 1960

Drugs or Psychotherapeutic Program for Disturbed Adolescent Boys

Author Affiliations

West Nyack, N.Y.
Formerly Supervising Psychiatrist, Male Adolescent Unit, Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(5):582-587. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590110106014

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the experiences in the treatment and management of 125 boys in the Male Adolescent Unit (ages 11 to 16) at Rockland State Hospital. The paper is based on over two years of work and some previous records and experience of the Male Adolescent Unit.

The recent avalanche of reports concerning the usefulness of drugs indicates the need for critical evaluation, since state mental institutions have been presented with tremendous numbers of children under the age of 16 (Rockland State Hospital has over 500). The shortage of professional personnel further requires determination of techniques which should be significant, efficacious, lasting, and economical. I believe that the adage attributed to Dr. Nolan Lewis, “You should treat as many patients as possible with the drugs while the effects still last,”1 should be further studied to separate the significant nondrug

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