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Czech alcohol addiction treatment pioneer dies at 91

A man who was the first to develop alcohol addiction treatment, Jaroslav Skala, has died, Czech media reported Monday. He was 91.

Skala died overnight in Prague, Czech radio said. His granddaughter, Andrea Skalova, told the local CTK news agency Skala died a natural death at home. He did not suffer from any serious illness, she said.

Born May 25, 1916, in the western town of Plzen, Skala, a psychiatrist, established the first Czech center for treatment of people addicted to alcohol in 1948 as part of a psychiatric clinic in Prague and headed the respectable institution till his retirement in 1982.

In 1951, he founded a facility in the center for sobering up and treating people with drinking problems, which he claimed was the first such medical facility in the world.

Skala released more than 100 studies on the subject, many of them were published abroad. In 2002, he was awarded a high Czech state decoration, the Medal of Merit.

He had been a teetotaller since 1951.

"I didn't find in (alcohol) anything I could not get from something else," Skala said in an interview.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.

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