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The New York Times December 18, 1928

Chief Magistrate William McAdoo in a statement issued yesterday declared that Bellevue Hospital was unable to treat all the drug addicts sent there, and that the addicts preferred the narcosan treatment at the hospital to the treatment on Welfare Island.

"Since the published statement advising drug addicts to come to me for commitment to Bellevue Hospital for treatment under a commission of doctors appointed by Commissioner Patterson, this office has been crowded with such people," the chief magistrate said.

"There were, eighteen drug addicts here yesterday, but when we called Bellevue Hospital, which has only seventeen beds for addicts, they had to be turned away, as there was no room for them. They and others are back here today, and the hospital tells me they will be able to take two today.

Bellevue Treatment Shorter.

"The addict is attracted to Bellevue Hospital as against the hospital on Welfare Island because he is turned out as cured, at least temporarily, of his craving for the drug, in a much shorter time than on the island. In the island hospital the general treatment was for a period of 100 days; that meant that after the addict had been weaned as it were from the drug, and the craving for it had ceased, he was kept under medical supervision to recuperate and regain his physical strength, so as to be discharged stronger and better than when he came to the island in order to make a fight for self­control against the drug.

"Hitherto there had been but two treatments for the drug addict at the public hospitals; one was called the 'reduction' treatment and the other was known among addicts as 'cold turkey.' The 'reduction' treatment consisted in gradually lessening the amount of the drug until the patient was able to go without it altogether and then was kept for some time to recuperate.

"The 'cold turkey' treatment simply means confining the patient and depriving him or her entirely of the drug.

Doubts Value of Narcosan.

"The third treatment which is being used at Bellevue Hospital is called narcosan, and it is a fluid invented and put forth by a chemist who came to this country from Vienna. Commissioner Patterson some time ago ordered that the narcosan treatment should be abolished on Welfare Island. When the treatment was first brought out I was told that if the addict took narcosan and at the same time the drug, it would kill him. This is not true. I have my own opinion as to narcosan being a cure.

"To be perfectly frank about it, I do not believe it is, but the commission headed by eminent doctors at Bellevue Hospital has not as yet made a report on it. Many who have taken the cure are recidivists, and where they are I note that fact on the commitment to the hospital so that those there may know that this person has been treated in that way on a former occasion."

Richard C. Patterson Jr., Commissioner of Correction, said that two treatments were used in his department, the "cold turkey" treatment in the workhouse and the "reduction" treatment at the penitentiary. Narcosan treatment is not given, he said.

Dr. Lambert Heads Board.

"When I took office," Commissioner Patterson declared, "I found that $25,000 was being spent annually on the narcosan treatment, without any statistics as to its efficacy. Being an engineer and not a physician, I decided to ask the mayor's approval to appoint a commission of competent physicians to study the best treatment for the cure of drug addiction. This was done and the Board of Estimate appropriated sufficient funds to cover the first year's work."

Commissioner Patterson appointed Dr. Alexander Lambert as chairman of the commission, with Dr. Menas Gregory, Dr. Lindsay R. Williams, Dr. Israel Straus, Dr. George B. Wallace, Dr. Thomas A McGoldrick, Dr. Matthias Nicoll Jr. And Dr. Royal C. Van Etten as collaborators.

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