Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 31. - More than 500 men and women attended a recent meeting here of Alcoholics Anonymous, the first regional gathering the movement has held in the south. At the meeting Mrs. Marty Mann of New York, said to be the first woman to be prominently identified with the movement, severely criticized municipal hospitals for refusing to care adequately for alcoholics.

Declaring that alcoholism is a disease and should be treated as such, she insisted that all general hospitals should have separate wards for alcoholics and urged that free clinics for them be established in all cities. "We know," she said, "that there are 600,000 institutionalized alcoholics. It is estimated that there are 50,000,000 drinkers in the United States, but we are most concerned with the estimated 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 drinkers we know nothing about, the "hidden alcoholics." Mrs. Mann estimated that 12,000 alcoholics die annually because they are not being helped. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous now number about 20,000.

The Christian Century©, November 14, 1945.

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