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December 4, 1967

The District of Columbia's Experiences With the Alcoholic

JAMA. 1967;202(10):931-934. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130230057007

The landmark decision of the Washington, DC, courts in the Easter case declared the alcoholic to be sick rather than criminal. A variety of rehabilitation programs were initiated, but they are only a beginning in the treatment of Washington's estimated 45,000 alcoholics. Similar decisions affecting many areas of the United States are inevitable and will require the medical profession to take action. Is the profession ready to exercise its leadership role in the development of appropriate treatment facilities?