Patients Manage Recreation Plans, 1961

7 05 2012

The following article was published in the Capital Journal on April 28, 1961.

A girl who had talked to no one for seven years — separated from reality by an “escape mechanism” barrier– has shown her first progress through recreation therapy at Oregon State Hospital.

Brought by a staff aide to “The Hut,” she eventually accepted an invitation to dance with another patient.

“The Hut” will be one of two recreation halls to be viewed by visitors to open house Sunday from 1 to 4:30 pm.  Operated by a governing group of patients called the Quoncil, the quonset hut-shaped building is the site of patient-planned parties and dances.

Plan Recreation

The general public sometimes regards the mentally ill as being incompetent and unable to take responsibility, commented Mrs. Ida Boehmer, recreational therapy department director. Read the rest of this entry »

Cure by Hangover? — 1951

30 03 2011

The following is a transcription of an article that appeared in the Capital Journal newspaper September 20, 1951 (page 15).  Prior to the introduction of specially designated substance abuse recovery and treatment centers, OSH was one of the few places people could go to get help with alcoholism.  Even in the earliest records, alcoholism is frequently mentioned as reason for admitting people to the hospital.  A 1916-1917 report of “causes of insanity” of people brought to the Oregon State Hospital lists alcoholism as 6th in known causes.  This article gives an interesting perspective into treatment practices during the 1950s.

Cure by Hangover? State Hospital Pioneers New Cure for Alcoholics

By Paul W. Harvey, Jr. (Associated Press Special Correspondent)

If you’re an alcoholic and want to get cured, just go to the Oregon state hospital and take the antabuse treatment.

If you keep taking antabuse the rest of your life, you’ll never take another drink. That’s because antabase combines with alcohol to form a poison in the blood stream.

Taking a drink after antabase makes you think you’re going to die.  The blood pressure rises, quickly, then falls so low it might cause severe shock.  The eye balls pop way out.  Then you get violently sick at your stomach.

Antabuse, a newly-discovered chemical, is only one of the many treatments the state hospital uses to try to cure alcoholics.  Actually, it is used on only about three per cent of the hospital’s alcoholism victims.

Since antabuse is dangerous unless given under a doctor’s supervision, it can be obtained only from a few selected doctors.

The state hospital is one of the very few in the country that treats alcoholics.

Dr. Dean Brooks, assistant to the hospital superintendent, has charge of treating the ever-increasing number of alcoholics.  He doesn’t make any big claims, asserting the treatment is helpful in only 30 per cent of the cases.

Read the rest of this entry »