October 1961

Group Therapy and Hospitalization of Narcotic Addicts

Author Affiliations

From the U.S. Public Health Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas.
Deputy Chief, Addict Service, U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas (Dr. Blachly); Resident in Psychiatry, Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y. (Dr. Pepper); Psychiatric Institute, University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore (Dr. Scott); Director, Vocational Rehabilitation, U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas (Mr. Baganz).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(4):393-396. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710160073008

Introduction  Conflicting opinions have been expressed in the literature concerning the value of group psychotherapy for the treatment of narcotic addicts. Johnston1 and Thorpe and Smith2 claim that it has considerable therapeutic value whereas a popular psychiatric textbook3 states flatly that it is not successful.Likewise there are conflicting opinions regarding the value of hospitalization of addicts with some groups stating that shortterm hospitalization may be satisfactory,4 while others believe that the patient should remain hospitalized for a prolonged period so that he can learn to live effectively without drugs.5 Both groups agree that prolonged posthospital psychotherapy or follow-up is desirable.This paper reports the results of testing the null hypotheses: (a) Attendance at group psychotherapy meetings has no significant influence on the attitudes of narcotic addict patients; (b) a 2-month period of hospitalization produces no significant change in

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