The addiction hospital: Current status and an assessment

Joseph Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hospitals have provided treatment for drug and alcohol dependence for at least 200 years, although the hospital solely devoted to this problem has been a creature of this century. These large institutions served to isolate or 'quarantine' such patients - a valuable public health role when the number of addicts were few. They also facilitated research and education regarding drug and alcohol dependence. While these quarantine, research and training functions have continued to a limited degree, their expense and low treatment efficacy has limited their applicability in most societies today. Smaller, shorter-stay units in general hospital, together with day programs and out-patient treatment, have largely replaced this older treatment approach. Some of these outmoded hospital facilities have been modified as low security prisons for addicts convicted of drug offenses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1984


  • Drug dependence
  • Hospital
  • Research training
  • Treatment


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