The Reminiscences of Ira Mothner

The Transcript

We thought of drugs as heroin. For example, Mitch would probably deny this if asked, but we never thought at Phoenix House of abstinence, the way that it’s perceived today. It wasn’t only that we gave our addicts cigarettes to smoke. And we wrote them off, I think, as therapeutic supplies. But treatment lasted a long time then, and the TC was organized hierarchically. Residents moved up in stages, became elders of the community, which is one of the reasons the TC was a very inexpensive way of treating substance abuse.
— Ira Mothner

Biography: Ira Mothner is an author, journalist and public relations consultant, with extensive experience in magazine journalism. In the 1970s, he collaborated with Mitchell Rosenthal on a book entitled Drugs, Parents and Children (1972). He is also the author of How to Get Off Drugs (1984).

Keywords: Look Magazine; Smithsonian Magazine; magazine journalism; Phoenix House; Mitchell Rosenthal; John Vliet Lindsay; speechwriting; Robert F. Kennedy; Edward M. Kennedy; War on Poverty; therapeutic communities; Efrén Ramirez; Addiction Services Agency; Hart Island; Riverside Plaza Hotel; Daytop Village; Gardner Cowles, Jr.; substance abuse; Synanon; Morty Sklar; Kevin McEneaney; Ronald Williams; Phoenix House Academy at Yorktown