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Vernon E. Johnson (August 23, 1920 - April 30, 1999) was an Episcopal priest and recovered alcoholic who devoted his life to alcohol intervention. Johnson's main achievements lie in the field of treatment of chemical dependency, especially alcoholism. Johnson did not believe that an alcoholic needed to "hit rock bottom" before recovery. He introduced the concept of intervention by family, friends, and employers. He supported "early intervention", because it interrupted the progression of the disease of alcoholism before the disease completely destroyed the alcoholic's life.
Following his own recovery from alcoholism, in 1962 Johnson led a church group concerning alcohol intervention. As an Minnesota Episcopal priest, Johnson encouraged the incorporation of faith into the treatment and he convinced many churches to provide space for recovering alcoholics' support group meetings. Dr. Johnson was also a member of faculty of the Rutgers University Summer School for Alcohol Studies. In 1966, he co-founded (along with Irene and Wheelock Whitney) the Johnson Institute, which aims to provide early intervention and help employers deal with employee drinking. The institute has also provided training to over 8,000 professionals.
To this day, the Johnson Institute uses the "Minnesota Model", which Johnson constructed when he was leading the church group. (It now has offices in Washington, D.C., Austin, and Minneapolis. Johnson also wrote several books about the treatment of chemical dependency, the most famous being I'll Quit Tomorrow. Johnson died in 1999 from cancer.