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August 1967

Out-Patient Treatment of Alcoholism.

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(2):252. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300020124022

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This monograph is a sobering document concerning the treatment of alcoholics. It is the diligent product of two researchers employed to undertake a study by the North American Association of Alcoholism Programs, (NAAAP) on the therapeutic effectiveness of state-supported alcoholism clinics. During a five-year period (1957-1962), eight representative clinics and 797 of their patients were evaluated, mainly through the use of a series of questionnaires sent to each clinic. In attempting to condense the 56 tables and 205 pages of rather unimaginative but clearly written material, one discovers a number of interesting findings.

  1. Only 18% were abstinent or "Controlled drinkers" for a six-month period prior to a follow-up study. None after one year.

  2. The most effective treatment was done by internists (or internists in conjunction with a social worker), as opposed to treatment by psychiatrists.

  3. Drugs (save for disulfiram) were of no specific use except as a means of helping

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