[ Doctor DeLuca’s Addiction Website ]

 

From: H0CKEYH0@aol.com

Sent: Sunday, August 20, 2000 8:11 PM

To: adeluca1@bellatlantic.net

Subject: Of possible interest...

 

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Sigurd Ackerman, MD, President

St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center

1000 Tenth Avenue

New York, NY 10019

 

July 13, 2000

 

SUBJECT

 

Reply to: "Victory for Abstinence Based Treatment"

 

 

Dear Dr. Ackerman & Colleagues:

 

I am alarmed that in this modern age that you suggest that an alternative

recovery method is invalid, regardless of the research many of your peers

have done on the subject. Do you deny a person infected with HIV a different

medication if he does not respond to the first one ever developed?

 

From what I understand the harm reduction model was embraced by your

treatment center enough to have welcomed meetings to be hosted there that

helped to teach people about the methods that might be used. Your sudden

change of heart makes me wonder what sort of organization you are running.

Did you discover that harm reduction was not profitable enough? If the

managing directors had such a problem with non-abstinence based treatment for

alcohol problems in the first place, why did you waste time and resources

hosting it? It appears to me that you have been bullied by the media, or

possibly by those who fund your institution into eliminating a new concept

long before it has been given a fair chance to prove successful.

 

Why is it so inconceivable that a new and radically different approach to

alcohol treatment might just work? There is a major disservice here to anyone

who seeks to lessen their alcohol intake without being told they are a

hopeless drunk. There are people who drink to suppress depression, grief,

loneliness, and a multitude of other circumstantial discomforts. I cannot

accept that a disease is caused by someone drinking to deal with unfamiliar

or uncomfortable emotions caused by peripheral circumstances. It would be

more logical to assist people in dealing with those emotions they are

suppressing with alcohol then to irresponsibly diagnose them with a disease

and pawn them off into a program which they don't belong in.

 

One of the major problems you seem to have is discerning alcohol abuse from

alcohol addiction. None of the experts on television or in the press seem to

be able to clearly define this line. If it is a case of someone having

physical withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abstention I can see where you

would declare an actual physical addiction. In absence of these symptoms, it

would suggest to me that the person has been drinking to suppress

something(s) specific. If the person was properly attended to in

psychotherapy, assuming there was no co-existing physical addiction, once the

emotional trauma is dealt with the self medication of alcohol would no longer

be an issue. If the abuse of alcohol continues after the underlying issues

are dealt with and the overdrinking has been addressed by the therapist, at

this point a closer look at the person's relationship with alcohol could be

further explored.

 

It is my hope that your directors will not let this issue die. It is

imperative to explore new and improved methods of treatment and advance the

effectiveness of alternative approaches to any health problem. It is nothing

short of gross negligence on the part of the medical community to do anything

less.

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Newman

Point Pleasant NJ