Page images
PDF
EPUB

We look to the member churches of the National Council to encourage the establishment and maintenance of clinics and other appropriate therapeutic facilities when competently conducted, for the victims of alcoholism. We urge the churches to give any help possible especially to those organizations which seek to include the resources of the Christian faith in working

toward the cure and rehabilitation of alcoholics. Alcoholism and narcotic addiction does not exhaust the concern of the churches for alcohol and drug problems in our society. The churches are also aware of problems such as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, youthful drinking and drug taking, effective legal controls of the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcohol and drugs, and the abuse of alcohol and drugs such as stimulants, sedatives, and hallucinogens in every level of our society. The report of the Cooperative Commission on the study of Alcoholism has demonstrated how alcoholism is interlocked with these other alcohol problems, and I am sure the same thing is true of narcotic addiction and drug abuse problems. Therefore, the churches are beginning to develop a comprehensive program to deal with all alcohol and drug problems. The provisions of H.R. 15758 are vital ingredients in this comprehensive program.

The primary role of the church is in prevention, but the remedial task before us of providing comprehensive care services for the great number of alcoholics and narcotic addicts already afflicted is so urgent that passage of H.R. 15758 is an imperative priority.

RECOMMENDATIONS

We feel that H.R. 15758 could be strengthened by two additions :

1. "Part C—Alcoholism” would be strengthened by adding a section providing for the training of personnel to work with alcoholics and their families just as Section 252, “Part D—Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation” provides for training of workers with narcotic addicts. Training programs for alcoholism workers are needed simply because they are in such short supply and the need for professional and sub-professional workers so great. H.R. 15758 is an excellent vehicle for providing them and I urge the addition of such a section.

2. A premable to “Part C—Alcoholism," such as the one suggested by Mr. Dimas who testified on behalf of the North American Association of Alcoholism Programs, would strengthen H.R. 15758 by explicitly relating alcoholism to existing health and welfare legislation. Alcoholism is already generally covered in these other programs such as the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Justice Department, and the operating agencies or the Department of Health. Education, and Welfare, but presently alcoholism seems to be a low priority item. Because of the complex nature of alcoholism and the implications of it for the work of these other programs, the addition of such a preamble would express strong congressional intent that they be involved in the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.

CONCLUSION

The Methodist Church is not prepared to surrender its conviction that ab stinence is a desirable practice in view of the confusion and ambivalence surrounding alcohol use and the many problems associated with it, not the least of which is alcoholism, in this country; but it is prepared to enter the public realm to encourage, support, and cooperate with community wide efforts at the national, state and local levels to treat and to prevent drinking problems through the most effective means available. H.R. 15758 is considered an effective means because its provisions will facilitate state and community development of model programs such as the one incorporated in H.R. 14300 for the District of Columbia which the House of Representatives has already passed without objection.

Mr. Rogers. Thank you very much, Dr. Price. I am sure the committee is interested in the participation of the churches in the Nation in helping to meet these health problems. It would be an important part of trying to bring about some cure to have the interest of the churches in the Nation join with the medical people to help do something about these very serious problems, and certainly with the families affected, here is an area where so much needs to be done in the community and with the church groups which the medical people can necessarily help in.

Thank you for being here.
Mr. Kyros.

Mr. Kyros. I want to join with you in your remarks, and in welcoming Reverend Works and Dr. Price here. I can think of no better institution in our society than the church for doing the things before us.

In rehabilitation from alcoholism and drugs, I think the church hasn't been active enough in the past, and I appreciate your being here today and being in favor of title III of the bill.

Dr. WORKS. I know the hour for adjournment for lunch is at hand, Mr. Chairman; however, I would like to make just one additional statement. About 6 months ago, the North Conway Institute undertook three major studies for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., which dealt with the middle-class suburban housewife and alcohol; the Negro ghetto and alcohol; and the "hippie" community and drugs.

We found that the problem of drugs--including alcohol, which we regard as a drug-to be almost overwhelming.

When we sought possible sources of funds for a national resource center on drugs and a research program which could develop into decent therapeutic and educational facilities, we were told that there were no funds available for either treatment or prevention.

Today the Washington Post carries the story on page 1 of the stabbing death of 24-year-old Linda Marshall of Cambridge, Mass., whose mother and father are dear and beloved personal and family friends.

The New York Daily News wonders on page 1 if a drug-insaned "hippie” killed Linda Marshall. Some of us wonder if the streets of Cambridge, Mass. are as safe as Saigon, South Vietnam; and we ask you in the U.S. Congress about what can be done for adequate funds to finance alcoholism as well as other drug-related programs.

From 1956 until January 20, 1961, I served as chairman of a Federal Government commission on alcoholism among the American Indians; the entire Federal budget just a decade ago was about $126,000.

Therefore, I do appreciate the increase to the figure proposed in this legislation of $7 million. The time is long past for such tiny and insignificant sums.

Sometime in the future, maybe we can do something effective in the area of alcohol education and the prevention of alcoholism as well as drug abuse and drug dependence_especially with LSD, "speed," and other mood-changing chemicals.

We have now a seminary student from the Harvard Divinity School working in a small home in the Cambridge-Somerville, Mass., area where runaways from all over New England-including, Mr. Kyros, the state of Maine-are congregating. Most of these youngsters are using illegal drugs, and they need help now.

I know you are a man of great conscience about drugs, Mr. Rogers. You also know how effective is the great Florida State program on alcoholism which is located in Avon Park. You know that I would

resources.

be remiss in my responsibility as a clergyman if I did not remind you of the Episcopal vestryman's prayer, “O Lord, You keep him humble and we'll keep him poor.” The people back home need financial

Mr. ROGERS. Thank you. I hope it will be encouraging to you to know this, that this is one approach we are considering now, but Mr. Kyros and I have joined in introducing legislation to do something about the LSD problem, the hallucinogens, the barbiturates, and we are trying to get initiated an effective educational program, and I think we are pushing in the right direction here, and I think this is going to come about as the result of the work of this committee.

It is going to take time, of course, but I think we are well along our pathway to really accomplishing something in constructive programs to meet those problems.

Dr. WORKs. May I add for the record here a brandnew drug pamphlet which the North Conway Institute has just published entitled, "What You Need To Know About Drugs * *°* Stimulants, Depressants, Hallucinogens, Narcotics, Deliriants, Alcohol." I would like to add this pamphlet as part of my written statement for the record.

Mr. ROGERS. The committee would like to have that for its file. (The document referred to has been placed in committee files.) Mr. ROGERS. Thank you so much.

(Whereupon, at 12:45 p.m. the committee recessed, to reconvene at 2 p.m. the same day.)

AFTER RECESS

(The committee reconvened at 2 p.m., Hon. Paul G. Rogers presiding.)

Mr. Rogers. The subcommittee will come to order, please.

We have some witnesses who have to catch planes. We will try to get to them in order as rapidly as possible.

I believe the one who has to catch the first plane is George Dimas, who is president of the North American Association of Alcoholism Programs and executive director of alcohol studies and rehabilitation section, State mental health division, Portland, Oreg.

Mr. Dimas, it is a pleasure to have you, and we are delighted to hear from you now. If you want, we will make your statement a part of the record, without objection, following your remarks. If you could give us your comments, this would be helpful. STATEMENT OF GEORGE C. DIMAS, PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICAN

ASSOCIATION OF ALCOHOLISM PROGRAMS; ACCOMPANIED BY GUS HEWLETT, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY; AND BERNARD LARSEN, FORMER MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mr. Dimas. Because of the limited time, we are going to suggest again that we would like to submit our entire testimony for the record, and attempt in a short period of time to give you a condensed form of our presentation.

We want to thank you for the chance to appear before you today. I have with me Gus Hewlett, to my right, who is executive secretary, and at this time I would like to extend to you and your committee and your colleagues the services of Mr. Hewlett, who has his offices in Washington, D.C.

Mr. ROGERS. Yes; we know Mr. Hewlett, and the good work he does, and we appreciate that offer.

Mr. DIMAS. I have Mr. Bernard Larsen from North Dakota, a former State legislator from that State, and a former member of our board of directors, and a person well informed on the legislative effort.

Mr. ROGERS. It is a pleasure to see you today.

Mr. Dimas. Our association is comprised of 42 or 43 governmental programs. The governmental programs are parts of other governmental health bodies such as mental health division, such as health departments, such as public welfare departments. I emphasize this point to you, because the alcoholism programs do have a wealth of strength to gather from, rather than working autonomously, as some people might imply at times.

We have an additional 72 agencies which are governmental programs involved in treatment and rehabilitation programs related alcohol problems.

The association also is considered the professional organization in the field. By this I mean professional people do belong to this association.

The North American Association of Alcoholism Programs strongly supports the provisions of title III, part A of H.R. 15758. We commend Chairman Staggers for introducing this progressive legislation. We also commend this committee for taking early action on this significant legislation.

In prior testimony reference has been made to the President's Crime Commission reports. Many recommendations in these reports are embodied in the provisions of title III, part A of the bill.

I would like to make reference to a February 29 report of a special committee of leading traffic safety experts to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare who recommended a massive Federal program to eradicate the disease of alcoholism.

Reference has also been made in prior testimony to the two district court decisions that held that a chronic offender could not be convicted for the offense of public intoxication. Reference has been made to the pending Supreme Court decision in the Powell v. Texas

case.

You gentlemen are aware of the amicus briefs that have been prepared. There was a broad spectrum of interested groups supporting this brief, which included the American Medical Association, the North American Judges Association, and other similar organization. These court decisions certainly represent a humane, logical advance from the outmoded custom of punishing sick people.

We applaud these decisions, but we recognize they present major problems to localities. I believe communities are ready to accept the decisions, but they are not ready to develop health services rather than criminal services for these clientele.

We feel strongly that the Federal Government can not and must not assume the total responsibility for providing the necessary facilities and other resources to meet this pressing need. We believe that the

a

States and communities have an essential responsibility in this area. However, the Federal Government does have a clear duty to help other governmental jurisdictions to meet the needs of our society.

Enactment, implementation and funding of title III, part A of H.R. 15758 will be a significant step by the Federal Government in fulfilling that duty.

Passage of this act will provide much needed impetus for the States to expand their own existing alcoholism care and control programs and to the establishment of new facilities and resources to meet the impending need. This will be in the beginning. At this point I would like to make three

suggestions concerning the provisions of H.R. 15758. One relates to emergency care. It is felt by the association that emergency facilities should be specifically designated as one of the types of facilities eligible for Federal assistance in the construction, staffing, maintenance, and operation provisions of title III, part A, of H.R. 15758, with a specific provision authorizing emergency care facilities, the possibility of adequate care for intoxicated alcoholics will be substantially reduced.

Two, existing health, welfare, and rehabilitation legislation. Comprehensive Federal assistance to States and communities can also be generated through the whole spectrum of Federal health and welfare programs. Congress has passed much solid legislation relative to the activity of various Federal agencies under which alcoholism help is available.

Alcohol agencies are receiving almost no consideration by these agencies, and they have a low priority in others.

Evidence of this is seen by the fact that a total of only $11.2 million was spent by the Depatrment of Health, Education, and Welfare during the current fiscal year despite the fact that the former HEW Secretary has called alcoholism the most neglected health problem facing the Nation today.

For the same fiscal year, the amount appropriated to the National Cancer Institute was $183,356,000. Added to this figure were millions of dollars appropriated to the cancer control branch, the Veterans' Administration and the Atomic Energy Commission.

There are approximately 1 million people under treatment for cancer. Alcoholism, with approximately 5 million victims, is currently receiving less than 5 percent of the Federal attention which cancer receives.

Similar statistics can be given to heart disease, vocational rehabilitation, and mental retardation. These are all worthwhile endeavors, but alcoholism should be accorded far greater recognition than it is currently receiving.

We would therefore strongly urge the Congress to reassert its intent that existent social, health, welfare, and rehabilitation acts must and should be utilized to aid in programs of alcoholism control, and control where applicable, care and control.

The third recommendation is regarding training programs. Training professional personnel to staff alcoholism treatment facilities is a crucial need in the field. A very limited number of professionally qualified personnel are devoting time and energy to the problems of alcoholism. This, coupled with the new acute problems posed by the court decisions makes necessary a large number of workers in the field.

93-453-68

13

« PreviousContinue »