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August 10, 1963

After The Cure, What?

JAMA. 1963;185(6):26-28. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060060004003

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A narcotics addict who enters a hospital today faces two contradictory facts: He can be "cured" of his habit in as little as four days. But he may relapse into addiction soon after his release.

It is this problem—keeping the addict off narcotics after he has been withdrawn from them—that mental health personnel are trying to solve in new treatment approaches. The severity of the problem of "relapses" is illustrated in a recent Public Health Service report on the findings of a field team in New York City. This group from the New York Demonstration Center (established by the National Institute of Mental Health) studied 453 persons living in the New York area who had been discharged from the Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Ky. The 453 represented a sample from 1,359 persons who had been discharged during the period from July of 1952 to December of 1955. They

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