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October 1976

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment


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Out of approximately 90 Navy doctors, dentists, nurses, and health-care specialists who have been processed through treatment and therapy for alcoholism at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif., only two have returned to drinking.

Under the direction of Dr. Joseph A. Pursch, captain, U.S. Navy, chief of alcohol rehabilitation at the center, the facility has processed a total of 2,600 patients, representing all branches of the Navy, and their families. The overall rehabilitation and recovery rate, based on at least two years of effective performance, is approximately 75%. At least 50 of these patients were doctors with full MD credentials.

"We emphasize both PA and TM here," volunteered Dr. Pursch. "That's Permanent Abstinence and Transcending Medication."

A minimum six-week program involves a two-week restriction to quarters, counseling by counselors with two or more years' sobriety, medical lectures, training films, and a physical recreation program. Patients are taken to AA meetings in Long Beach every night. "AA is the heart of this program," states Dr. Pursch.

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