VOL. I, NO. 1, JUNE, 1944 P. O. BOX 328, GRAND CENTRAL ANNEX YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION, 1.50; COPY, 15c
May we remind those who see, read and possess a copy of this paper but who are not members of A.A. of the meaning of those two initials – – and ask them to respect our anonymity? Please do not quote or reprint without our permission.
TWO YALE SAVANTS STRESS ALCOHOLISM AS TRUE DISEASE
At the launching of The Grapevine, we wish to express our heartiest congratulations and best wishes for the success of this new publication. The invitation to contribute a note on the Yale Plan Clinics to the first issue of your Journal, confirms our belief in the close relation between the broad studies we have undertaken on all aspects of alcoholism. The first Yale Plan Clinics, which are at New Haven and Hartford, were established by the Laboratory of Applied Physiology of Yale University in cooperation with the Connecticut Prison Association. This most recent venture does not stand by itself, but is closely integrated with the researches and educational activities of the Laboratory. These three activities represent a broad scheme in which rehabilitation of the alcoholic and the prevention of inebriety are equal goals.
The Clinics serve several purposes and it is hard to say which purpose ranks first. As long as the general public is not aware of the fact that alcoholism is a disease, the most important object of the Clinics is to spread this idea until it is fully accepted. For the time being, this object may be placed ahead of the guidance of alcoholics. Another object is to further the development of community
resources which could be utilized in the rehabilitation of alcoholics. At present, in many cases therapy must be undertaken at the Clinics because of the scarcity of other resources. But when those facilities shall have been developed, based, perhaps, on recommendations coming from the experience
of the Clinics, the latter will limit their activity solely to the guiding of alcoholics to those facilities which according to diagnosis seem to be the most promising in the individual case. Such guidance is being practiced at present at the Clinics in bringing suitable cases into contact with the local groups of Alcoholics Anonymous. It goes without saying that one of our objectives is to further interest and confidence in Alcoholics Anonymous among those who have not heard of it or who are inadequately informed. The contacts of the Clinics with the courts, with various departments of State government and with civic agencies will contribute greatly to bring about adequate understand- ing of the nature of alcoholism, of the utilization of the existing, and the development of needed, facilities. The Clinics in giving physical examinations to all alcoholics who come for advice bring to their attention physical ailments which all too frequently are neglected. The treatment of such ailments does not lie within the activities of the Clinics, but the Clinics facilitate contacts with hospitals or private practitioners. The Clinics have been in operation only two months and thus a report on “results” is not justified. It is, however, worth reporting that out of 70 alcoholics who up to date have availed themselves of the Clinics, 22 have come without being “referred,” but solely from their own desire for help. The remainder have been sent by their relatives, by the courts, social agencies, hospitals, and private practitioners. Local groups of Alcoholics Anonymous have sent four men either for diagnosis of nervous complications or for physical examination. Numerous inquiries have been received from court officers and municipal administrators throughout the country concerning the feasibility of estab-
lishing clinics in other cities. The indications are that there is a wide interest in the rehabilitation of alcoholics and that only direction is needed to give it full display. The problem of the alcoholic is to great to be solved by any one person or even by any one organization. The cooperation of all individuals and all organizations, based on mutual respect and understanding of each other’s aims, is needed to bring success to the efforts of all those who are interested in bring- ing back the alcoholic into the life of the community. New Haven, Connecticut Howard W.
Haggard E. M. Jellinek
“GRAPEVINE” IN BOW
In a big smoke-filled room six ink-stained wretches sipped at their Cokes as I shot question after question at them. “All right,” I said, “The stork didn’t bring this paper. Nobody found it in a rose bush. It didn’t just grow like Topsy. Come clean, now. How’d it all begin?” “Well,” the six began, “It was just something that was in the air. Everybody, at some time or other, has had the bright idea: let’s have an A.A. paper! Then–bang–Cleveland had one; so why not us, here in the Metropolitan area? We figured to take the paper out of the talking stage and put it into print.” With that the six shut up. In the silence that followed I looked these people over. Very average. A cashier; a radio scriptwriter; an author; a bookseller; an art director; a wife and mother of two. “Do you realize,” I said, “that you people are sticking your necks out to here? Starting a paper up all by your little selves. Not put- ting it to a vote and all that kind of thing.”