The History of Addiction Recovery Services

The History of Addiction Recovery ServicesAs early as the mid 1700’s, the Native American tribes created alcoholic mutual aid societies that they termed “circles.” It was also at this time that Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician and humanitarian, first identified alcoholism as a disease. His work precipitated the American temperance movement from which many Seattle drug addicts currently benefit.

Addiction Recovery Services in the 1800s

To treat alcoholics in the 1800’s, Dr. Rush created a sober house and prominent psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Woodward suggested the creation of asylums. During this period, additional temperance groups formed and the temperance movement increased its memberships to 600,000 members. Other sober living environments developed as did additional mutual aid societies. One of the most noted events of this time is when Frederick Douglass, the noted African American statesman, signed a note of abstinence and promoted temperance. In addition to the New York State Inebriate Asylum, which was noted as the first facility to treat other drug addictions, the Martha Washington Home in Chicago became the first institution in America that specialized in treating women.

The first private, for-profit addiction treatment facility was opened in 1879 by Dr. Leslie Keeley and it encouraged people to realize that addiction is a medical issue, not a legal one. Modern Seattle residents have many more treatment options today from this innovative understanding.

Addiction Recovery Services in the Early 1900s

The early 1900s heralded the first upscale, private addiction treatment facility, while simultaneously the medical community continued to misunderstand addiction. In fact, some states passed laws requiring alcoholics and drug addicts be sterilized.

One of the most noted events in this time period was Prohibition, which brought alcohol use to a national level of attention. While the country reeled from the Great Depression, the first Alcoholics Anonymous book was published. During the 1940s and 1950s, awareness increased about alcoholism and addiction. The Research Council on Problems of Alcohol advocated public education about alcoholism and the Veterans Administration began developing alcoholism treatment units. It is during this period that Alcoholics Anonymous exceeded 90,000 members. While many Seattle residents may now be enrolled in the program, it required considerable time to grow into the successful organization it is today.

Addiction Recovery Services in the Late 1900s

The following events demonstrate the continued attention to alcoholism and addiction:

  • In 1961 the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association call for community-based treatment programs
  • In 1963 the American Public Health Association declares that “alcoholism is a treatable disease”
  • In 1970 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was founded
  • In 1978 Betty Ford discloses her addiction and treatment, which significantly contributed to the nation’s understanding of addiction

How society understands addiction has evolved in regards to how addiction works and ways to provide effective treatment. While Seattle drug addicts may not know how to handle their addictions, there is significant assistance available that can help them quit.

Seattle Addiction Help

The medical community has struggled with awareness, education and how to provide therapeutic strategies to help drug addicts. But if you or a Seattle loved one struggle with addiction, we can help, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment. We are here to help any Seattle resident who needs addiction advice.