Although Alcoholics Anonymous officially discourages special treatment of any group of problem drinkers, they acknowledge existence of the Newspaper Group, started in May 1945 by employes of the city's daily newspapers.
The group, whose members have included five Pulitzer Prize-winners, once guarded its exclusivity and privacy: Meetings were not publicized. Now, Monday-night meetings at St. John's Parish House in Lafayette Square are open to writers as well as members of other professions.
"When terminate composition I stopped drinking, I couldn't dance as well as I thought I used to be able to," says a Washington AA manager, addressing some writers' fears that giving up drinking will mean an end to their creativity. "There were a lot of things I thought I couldn't do as well as I could when I was drinking. It goes without saying that only I thought I was Fred Astaire. Maybe only they writers think they are Truman Capote when they are drinking. It's a false feeling."
Among resources on alcoholism:
*Alcoholics Anonymous, which expects to conduct more than 1,000 self-help meetings in the Washington area this year: (202) 966-9115.
*A new self-help group for writers and others in the creative arts. For more information: Washington Independent Writers, (202) 347-4973.
*Washington Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Inc. (WACADA): (202) 783-1300, 24-hour hotline. Publishes "The Coping Catalogue," a comprehensive listing of all Washington-area programs.