oa Central African Journal of Medicine - The treatment and the rehabilitation of alcoholics on an occupational level

Volume 9, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Address to the National Study Conference on Alcoholism, Salisbury, in May, 1962. The medical profession has not been in full accord with the outlook on alcoholics and alcoholism as supported by the various definitions. A change in attitude will take place when the causation becomes defined and is in line with a definite physical entity. The observation that alcoholics require to satisfy their need with alcohol led to a therapeutic approach in rehabilitation in which management plays a prominent part. The therapeutic concept requires the stabilisation of the alcoholic's occupation, made possible by management as well as by the daily contact of the therapist with the alcoholic. The choice of the occupational approach was dictated by the assumption that the bulk of the community must work - a situation also applicable to the alcohol-addicted population. The initial clinical examination of the alcohol addicted patient forms the baseline for bath the therapy as well as the prognosis. Factors such as puffiness of the face, enlargement of the liver, blood pressure, central nervous system as well as the mental state are noted and assist in the evaluation of the patient, not only from the clinical aspect, but for occupational reasons as well. All anti-alcohol medication is given daily to the alcohol-addicted patient under direct supervision in order to be sure that the desired pharmacological effects are produced and to prevent avoidance behaviour to anti-alcohol medication. The latter medication carries with it an element of risk should the patient for one reason or another imbibe alcohol in any form. An emergency card is issued both for the purpose of identity as well as acting as a warning to the dangers of drinking alcohol while under therapy and the measures to be taken in the event of an emergency. A date-and-time-sheet is issued to the patient. This is daily stamped by the therapist and countersigned by a responsible individual delegated by management, or a trade union or staff association official, a friend or member of the family. The compulsion used in this approach is mainly economic in character, which with its associated disciplines helps to keep the alcoholic on an even keel until he is able to maintain himself with relative ease in the community.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error