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April 1976

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Trends in Industry

Many of these items are contrary to AA philosophy. Their publication here does not mean that the Grapevine endorses or approves them; they are offered solely for your information.

In the last two or three years, there has been considerable interest expressed in the "consortium" concept as a means of enabling smaller companies to have employee alcoholism programs. A number of projects of this nature have been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The concept, however, is far from new or innovative. Such a consortium began operations in Greensboro, N.C., in 1966. And this one has never required any use of public funds!

A document explaining the concept and possible operation of the proposed service read, in part, as follows:

"Establish Industrial Counseling Service to be supported by Greensboro businesses and industries to provide a counseling service to help with the problem of alcoholism in business. This program would provide direct counseling service to the employed alcoholic. Referrals would be made to the service by persons from supporting industries, Alcoholics Anonymous, ministers, doctors, or the Alcoholic Information Center. The service would be open to all persons regardless of age, sex, race, creed, religious beliefs, place of employment, or rank within the organization. It is estimated that the budget would probably run in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $25,000 per year."

With seven firms agreeing to support the consortium, articles of incorporation and bylaws were drawn up, and the Industrial Counseling Service, Inc., was chartered by the state of North Carolina on June 16, 1966, as a voluntary, nonprofit corporation.

One of several companies admitted to the consortium in 1974, with a population of a little over 1,000 employees, furnished 26 alcoholics in the first two months it was in the program!

In all self-referrals, no information of any kind goes back to the company, with the exception of a quarterly report showing total usage of the program by all participants, and an annual report to each company showing the total number of employees from that company who used the service. In no case can any individual employee be identified through these reports.

"Fringe benefits" of the program [include] a luncheon meeting (AA) of second-shift workers which just recently held a sixth-anniversary celebration.

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