Alexander DeLuca, M.D.
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From 10 Days to Shutdown: Abstinence Uber Alles!
Smithers Returns to Abstinence, DeLuca Leaves

Neil Scott, 'Alliance for Recovery'; Email forwarded to ADD_MED listServ by Herb Peyser; 2000-07-12
[Related resources:]

See also:
Abstinence vs. Harm Reduction Follies of Summer 2000 -
compiled by DeLuca; 2000

"The grass roots movement is alive and well! A very special thanks to everyone who helped the Smithers Foundation to overturn the moderation management movement at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, with letters, emails, faxes and phone calls.

"Thanks to an incredible outpouring of concern, support and action, the director at the Smithers treatment program quit and the hospital has agreed to abandon the moderation management model that was made public just ten days ago!

"From 10 Days to Shutdown!

"The magazine article in New York Magazine first hit the web on Friday, June 30th. The link was sent to key individuals and agencies throughout the country, asking people to respond to the magazine with letters to the editor. Three days later the actual magazine hit the newsstands in New York, and the NY Post ran a major story on the change from abstinence-based treatment to the inclusion of moderation management. Two days later, The NY Post ran a feature column by Susan Konig "Take Me to Rehab."

"Letters were simultaneously sent out sent out from the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation to friends and alumni of the Smithers Addiction Treatment and Research Center, alerting them to the changes and encouraging them to let Beth Israel/St. Luke's-Roosevelt hospital know how they felt. At the same time another round of emails went out, encouraging each person to let their colleagues know about the situation at the Smithers treatment center and take action. At the same time, the Foundation made available, free of charge, the publication Experimentation: The Fallacy of Controlled Drinking Where Alcoholism Exists. It seems that each email generated 10 additional emails and more and more people got involved.

"Nine days after the story broke on the New York Magazine web site, The Christopher D. Smithers Foundation took out a full page ad in the NY Times, deploring the changes and letting millions of readers know "...that alcoholism is a disease that requires abstinence-based treatment, and that controlled drinking, under any name, whether it be "moderation management" or "harm reduction," is not possible where the disease of alcoholism exists." The Foundation ran the same ad in the NY Post on Monday, July 10th. The text of the ad was also sent out to the growing email list.

"As a result of everyone standing up and speaking out, reinforcing the validly of abstinence-based treatment, the director of the Smithers program at Beth Israel/St.Luke's-Roosevelt hospital resigned and the hospital issued the following brief statement late Monday, July 10th, 2000:

"The Smithers center has had a long and proud tradition of treating alcoholism by advocating total abstinence. Since Dr. Alex DeLuca does not support the program philosophy, we have accepted his resignation."

"A spokesperson said that any changes away from the original philosophy would be immediately reversed.

"While DeLuca may have taken the fall in all of this, keep in mind that the moderation management approach has been in place for some time, prior to the New York Magazine article. It remains to be seen what will happen to the other proponents of the moderation management approach, including Frederick Rotgers, Psy.D., Assistant Chief Psychologist at the treatment center. He was formerly the director of the program for Addictions, Consultation and Treatment at Rutgers University, and has written extensively about moderation management. He worked closely with Audrey Kishline and was co-listowner for the moderation management email list. He was recently embroiled in another high profile national news story, which you can read about at

"What will happen to Rogters and others who have put together the moderation program at Smithers??? It will be interesting to see who replaces DeLuca and what happens to the remaining moderation management proponents still employed at the Smithers treatment center.

"Again, on behalf of Adele Smithers-Fornaci and the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation, THANK YOU for your interest and your action. By helping to reverse the moderation management model at Smithers treatment center, you have helped deliver a clear and concise message:

"Alcoholism is a treatable disease, from which people can and do recover, with abstinence-based treatment!"

by Neil Scott - Alliance for Recovery

Here are the related links with the full story!

1. NY Times Story "Addiction Center's Director Quits in Treatment Debate"

2. NY Times/AP Story "Director of Smithers Rehab Quits"

3. NY Post Story "Smithers Rehab Chief Quits Over Just-A-Sip Policy"

[END: “From another list”]



Dr. DeLuca's Addiction, Pain, and Public Health Website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted: 2005-12-25

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