Psychiatry: Mutual Aid in Prison

Since Synanon House set itself up in Santa Monica four and a half years ago as a mutual self-help cure station for drug addicts, it has seen its fame spread across the country. And for good reason. Addicts given intensive treatment at special federal hospitals have a relapse rate as high as 90%; Synanon, which models itself on Alcoholics Anonymous and uses ex-addicts to give junkies the support and understanding they need to kick the habit and stay clean, has cut the relapse rate to as low as 20%.

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