Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 09:57:59 EDT
Reply-To: ADD_MED LIST Addiction Medicine <ADD_MED@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU> Sender:
From: Leclair@AOL.COM
Subject: Smithers brouhaha

As former ASAM presidents and also Directors of the Smithers Center we
feel that we should post to the list even though we were away when the
news broke Also as veterans and victims of media misrepresentation
ourselves our first action was to call Alex DeLuca to find out what
Smithers was actually doing and what he had said in the original
interview in New York Magazine.

How many of you were prepared to accept what was said in the Post, a
biased report of a brutally edited article, without doing any further
research? Is that how you normally get your medical information? This
seems to have turned into a religious war without the use of any
medical, scientific or even collegial common sense. We are ashamed of
all of you who rushed into comment without checking your sources and
hope that you will remember this episode when it's your turn to be the
recipients of media distortion.

I, Anne Geller, know the Smithers program well. I have been in
frequent contact with it since I retired 2 years ago. Nothing goes on
there that most of you do not do except that Smithers really tries to
incorporate the latest scientific findings into its program and has a
number of research protocols underway, none of which involves
moderation management or controlled drinking. As Alex DeLuca said in
his post, Smithers does use motivational interviewing. Don't you?

Smithers also occasionally uses what used to be known as the Marty
Mann test Marty Mann was the founder of NCA, now NCADD. This technique
mentioned in Dr DeLuca's post is the suggestion of no more and no less
than three drinks a day for three months to test if the alcoholic in
denial can stay within these limits. Alcoholics almost always fail
and do so quickly, thereby demonstrating to themselves that they
cannot do controlled drinking. Don't you sometimes use similar
techniques yourselves?

You have also used guilt by association. Dr Rotgers was hired by Dr
Foote to assist in the research programs, none of which involve
Moderation Management Dr Rotgers has no part in the clinical
management of Smithers center. Are you all thoroughly proud of
yourselves? You have beaten up on a colleague who has been grossly
misrepresented by a press which for its own reasons wished to distort
what had been said to make a good story. DeLuca has lost his job while
you cheered from the sidelines.

DeLuca has never adopted Moderation Management beyond allowing one
such group to use after hours space at Smithers, a courtesy offered to
many mutual support groups. Some of you, on the other hand, have
claimed that both abstinence oriented treatment and Moderation
Management are needed.

It is enormously depressing to us, both now in retirement to witness
the same mindless zealotry that so beset our field 30 years ago again
raise its head to make us a laughing stock in the medical scientific
We have repeatedly stated that we wish to be in the medical
mainstream, to have addictions treated as any other medical illness,
to base our treatments on the science and to examine the data
carefully. In your attacks on DeLuca you did none of this. You behaved
like a bunch of religious fanatics with Satan in sight. Shame on you.

Anne Geller, M.D. ( ) and,
 LeClair Bissell, M.D. (


Alexander DeLuca, M.D., FASAM.
Copyright 2000. All rights reserved.                                 [Top of Page]
Revised: March 21, 2001.