THE HISTORY OF ALCOHOL ADDICTION: REFORM CLUBS
- June 6, 2018
Substance abuse and addiction have been a problem that societies have been forced to confront for centuries. Long before the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12-step program was formally introduced to American society, those seeking help with their alcohol addiction would attend self-help clubs known as reform clubs or businessmen’s abstinence clubs.
Women were, sadly, left behind in the reform club movement, but for American men, reform clubs were an important vehicle to find support and encouragement to deal with their addiction and maintain their abstinence from alcohol. The first reform club is believed to have started in Maine in the 1870s when recovering alcoholic J.K. Osgood convinced his friends to join him in an abstinence pledge. They would wear blue ribbons to symbolize their commitment.
Reform clubs proved to be a very popular option for men struggling with alcohol addiction, expanding to include millions of members in just a decade. They soon became overshadowed by more politically oriented groups aimed at enacting full prohibition and had largely disappeared by the end of the 19th century.
Many of the programs and therapy options used in the treatment of substance addiction today owe a lot to these early reform clubs, particularly the recognition of the importance of group therapy and support.
Asana Recovery offers a supervised detoxification and residential treatment program that takes advantage of a wide variety of different therapy options to help patients struggling at all stages of addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our program and facilities today.