The Rev. Joseph C. Martin dies at 84; expert on alcoholism and drug addiction
Martin’s lectures and films have been leading tools in recovery programs for more than 40 years. His book ‘Chalk Talks on Alcohol’ was published in 1982 and is still in print.
The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, an expert on alcoholism and drug addiction whose lectures and films have been leading tools in recovery programs for more than 40 years, has died. He was 84.
Martin, himself a recovering alcoholic, died Monday of heart failure at his home in Havre de Grace, Md., according to an announcement from Father Martin’s Ashley, an addiction treatment center located in Havre de Grace that Martin co-founded 25 years ago. He had been in failing health with heart issues for a number of years.
Considered one of the country’s foremost educators on alcoholism, Martin’s role in that field started, he said, almost by accident.
“That was in February 1972,” Martin told a Times reporter in 1998. “I was a seminary teacher. I had no plans to go into alcoholism treatment. I had some notes I’d taken because of my own recovery, and I used them for a talk. The Navy filmed it, and that was ‘Chalk Talk.’ ”
The title of the film came from the blackboard Martin used to illustrate points during his lecture. It became a classic in treatment programs around the country. By the end of his life, Martin had more than 40 motivational films to his credit. His book “Chalk Talks on Alcohol” was published in 1982 and is still in print.
Those who heard Martin recalled him as a gifted speaker who was funny and sprinkled his talks with a sense of the absurd.
“He seemed to believe that the discussion of alcoholism was too important to be taken deathly seriously,” recalled one member of Alcoholics Anonymous, who heard Martin on several occasions over the years. “He thought that laughter was the best approach to reach the sick.”
Full story at LA Times