This article comes from Guidepoints News from NADA Spring 2020 Issue. Sign-up to receive Guidepoints in your inbox quartlery. The Guidepoints newsletter is the only publication devoted to the sharing and dissemination of our NADA work on an international scale. Become a member to opt-in for a print copy. Check-out past issues.

Ellinor Mitchell is a familiar name in the NADA community – she is the author of Fighting Drug Abuse With Acupuncture (1995), which chronicles the beginnings of Lincoln Recovery Center in the Bronx and the development of what came to be known as the NADA protocol. Ellinor Mitchell died November 1, 2019 in York, Maine, at the age of 89.

In an review, acudetox specialist William Conner describes the book as a “a must for acudetox students and practitioners. The history and background of acupuncture as a treatment for substance abuse is given in detail. How acudetox came into being and the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. As a certified acudetox specialist, I found this book to be informative and useful and have let patients read from it as they are detoxifying.”

Below are several excerpts from the Vineyard Gazette’s obituary of Ellinor Mitchell, published on June 3, 2020:

“An outspoken liberal, she immersed herself in the fractious 1960s, plunging into the chaos of the Vietnam antiwar movement. She devoured the New York Times war dispatches of Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam, furiously annotating their clips, which she then copied and mailed out to family members. Decades after the war was over, the wall of her study in New York still bore faded clippings with Saigon datelines, Ellinor’s notes filling the margins.

“In the early 1970s, Ellinor got involved with Ray Gordon’s Cell Block Theatre, a program he designed to help ex-offenders through drama therapy. The theatre did workshops in prisons in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

“Ellinor thought of herself primarily as a writer and in 1987 she published her first book, Plain Talk About Acupuncture. She followed it in 1995 with Fighting Drug Abuse with Acupuncture: The Treatment That Works. Recently, a caregiver browsing the bookshelves in Laura Mitchell’s house found a binder of poems Ellinor had written between 1950 and 1985. The poems, apparently unseen for decades, touched on the various subjects that interested her when she was young.”

Ellinor was very well-regarded and accepted by the staff at Lincoln – as is evident in the picture above. Nancy Smalls, founder of Lincoln’s Maternal Abuse Sub-stance Services pro-gram, said that Ellinor was a very caring, lovely and compassionate person. “She taped all her interviews at Lin-coln because she wanted to get everything down right – without any of her own shavings in the mix.”

Carlos Alvarez, NADA trainer at Lincoln of several decades, seconded that opinion about Ellinor saying she was “a sweet, gentle soul.” He added that “she really listened – and she heard what you said.”

NADA will organize a book club focused on the reading of Ellinor’s book – look for an announcement in the early fall on and on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

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