Greater Boston Council on Alcoholism, Inc.

Elizabeth Whitney Post, a pioneer in educating the public about alcoholism...

...founded Greater Boston Council on Alcoholism, Inc. in 1945.

Her career of studying and treating alcoholism spanned 50 years, and began when she got sober through participation in Alcoholics Anonymous. She was sober four months when she attended Yale University's first Summer School on Alcohol Studies in 1943. While at the school, she worked with Bill Wilson, the founder of AA, and E.M. Jellinek, a chief proponent of the concept of alcoholism as a treatable disease.

She brought the lessons of Yale and Akron back with her to Boston and founded the Committee for Education on Alcoholism in 1945,
gathering civic leaders, physicians, clergy and friends, in one of the first volunteer community groups to take an active role in educating the public that alcoholism is a treatable disease. 

She also produced and hosted a weekly public service radio program called "Alcoholism is Everybody's Business" that aired from 1950 to 1970.

She wrote two books published by Boston's Beacon Press, Living with Alcoholism (1968) and Facilities for the Treatment of Alcoholism, a Practical Approach (1970). In 1971 she edited World Dialogue on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

One of the thousands of people she counseled over the years - at her own estimation over 14,000 - left her a substantial legacy for what had become the Greater Boston Council on Alcoholism, allowing an annual income sufficient to make a number of small, but important grants annually.

Elizabeth Whitney Post passed away in 1995 at the age of 91.

The Council became a charitable foundation in 1985 and continues Elizabeth Whitney Post's work by providing grants to non-profit organizations in the greater Boston area to support education and research relating to alcoholism and other drug addiction in organizations where the funding will make a significant impact.


Ms. Post stands in front of her portrait at BU''s  Sargent College of Allied Health Professionals where the Elizabeth Whitney Post Library on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction was dedicated June 1991. 

In an interview in the Boston Globe July that year, Ms. Post said, "When I started the Council on Alcoholism, there was no one else counseling. Alcoholics had no idea where to turn."

Boston Globe interview by Judith Montminy - photo credit Wendy Maeda