2001: Sally and David R. Brown
rediscover William E. Swegan's alcoholism
treatment programs of the 1940s and 50s
Bill Swegan's pioneering work in the 1940's and 50's in using AA in residential alcoholism treatment programs had become largely forgotten by the end of the century. But then c. 2000, what he had done was rediscovered by Sally and David Brown while they were researching their great book on Mrs. Marty Mann, who had been Bill's mentor and patron.
Sally and David R. Brown
See Sally Brown and David R. Brown, A Biography of Mrs. Marty Mann: The First Lady of Alcoholics Anonymous (Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden, 2001). All of the material below is quoted directly from pp. 170-171 and p. 341 nn. of that book:
An Air Force sergeant, Bill Swegan, initiated an educational program on alcoholism in his squadron soon after he got sober in 1948. A born teacher and counselor, he began to have a positive effect on the men. Bill and his later supervisor, Dr. Louis J. West, then the psychiatrist in charge of psychiatric services at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, submitted a paper on Lackland's comprehensive alcoholism program to the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The results were reported in the country's major newspapers.
"Marty ... heard of Swegan's success. She obtamed permission from APA to publish and distribute the paper under NCEA's logo, thus substantially increasing public awareness of the information. Subsequently, she used the persuasive argument of cost savings that helped induce the Department of Defense to adopt similar alcoholism treatment programs for the entire military service.* Bill Swegan later wrote:
*Things really changed when Harold Hughes offered an amendment to the Selective Service Act requiring the military to offer treatment and rehabilitation to alcoholics."
**William E. Swegan, The Life of an Air Force Sergeant and His Recovery from Alcoholism (Sonoma, California: self-published, no date), 61-62.