[ Akagi-kohgen Hospital: Alcoholism-specialized Hospital ]
Akagi-kohgen Hospital

( Updated on 02/19/2009 )

Akagi-kohgen Hospital is a psychiatric hospital, which specializes in the treatment of alcoholism. The hospital was opened in 1990 on Akagi highland in Akagi village, Gunma prefecture. The hospital is located close to the center of Japan, near the famous hot spring resort, Ikaho, only two hours from Tokyo by either train or car. Although there are about ten alcoholism-specialized hospitals in Japan, it is the only facility of this type in the north Kanto area.

Akagi-kohgen Hospital has 107 beds for inpatients, including nine in a secure closed ward. The number of inpatients is nearly 100 and their average hospital stay is about 50 days. The hospital admits and discharges about 50 patients a month. Roughly one third of these patients are first admission cases while the other two thirds are repeat admission cases. The largest group of admitted patients are middle and older age male alcoholics. Their share of our total patients, however is rather small compared to other alcoholism-treatment facilities whose patients are mostly older men. In contrast to other facilities, female patients amount to 30 to 40 percent of our inpatients and a majority of them are young women. Many of these young female alcoholic patients have a bulimic type eating Akagi-kohgen Hospitaldisorder as a concomitant cross-addiction problem. A small but important part of inpatients are battered wives who are depressed and confused and adult children of alcoholics who have additional pathological problems such as drug abuse, eating disorders, self mutilation and suicidal tendencies. Both of these types of patients have been or are presently the victims of violence in the alcoholic family situation. They need special education therapy in a safe environment. Young ladies who have been sexually molested in their childhood are the patients who need the greatest care in their treatment. Some of them have post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorders. We regard family members of alcoholic patients as people who need help not only because of their involvement with the patients but also because it benefits their own personal well-being.

We think it is important to treat family members when they seek help, because we are the people who can best understand their trouble and agony and we have the knowledge and ability to help them. We believe treating family members is more cost-effective than treating only the alcoholic patients, although we have not been able to make this fully understood by administrative officials.

The director of the hospital, Michio Takemura, M.D. graduated from Osaka University, Medical Faculty, and learned clinical psychiatry at Teikyo University Hospital. He is an experienced family therapist and an addiction problems specialist. He started treating alcoholism in 1985 in Mizonokuchi Hospital in Kawasaki city, Kanagawa prefecture. He was the president of the Clinical Institute on Addiction Problems in Tokyo and worked with Dr. Satoru Saito, the leading Japanese addiction therapist, before moving to Gunma prefecture to prepare for the opening of Akagi-kohgen Hospital.

Along with Dr. Michio Takemura, there are three psychiatrists now working in the hospital, all who specialize in the treatment of alcoholism. The hospital staff includes eight part-time psychiatrists, one internist, four full-time psychiatric social workers (PSW) and one part-time clinical psychologist and about 40 nurses. About ten of our staff are former patients including one psychiatrist and one PSW who are recovered alcoholics and three nurses who were admitted in our hospital before working as staff.

Many of our former inpatients are now living in Gunma prefecture and are active in self-help groups. They were either alcoholics, drug addicts, eating disorder patients or family members who had been treated in our hospital. They visit the hospital to give their messages of support to their comrades in their own time, or as a part-time job at our request. This friendship of current and former patients is a prerequisite for recovery and encourages the progress of both groups.

Judging the urgency for the treatment of the addiction problems is very important. We must evaluate the patients' physical and psychological condition and assess which stage of the recovery process they are in in order to give them adequate tasks. We shouldn't hasten them. Particularly, when we treat survivors from childhood abuse. We need to be sensitive to the safety of the patients.

The three principal therapy models in our hospital are education, family therapy and group therapy. We provide about 20 group therapy sessions and about 10 message type group sessions a week, and about 10 self-help group type sessions a day.

AKH By Michio Takemura, M.D.

Akagi-kohgen Hospital
1051, Kita-Akagi-san, Akagi-machi
Shibukawa city, Gunma Prefecture,
379-1111, JAPAN
TEL: 0279-56-8148

(address )

This page was registered in the Healthlinks online directory on Sept. 17th 2003.
The Healthlinks Directory is the largest healthcare specific directory on the Internet with over 113,000 unique links and growing at the rate of up to 5% per month.

[English Main Menu] [Top Page]