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August 4, 1894


JAMA. 1894;XXIII(5):203-204. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421100031004

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Experts and noted writers agree that this term describes more accurately the condition of many inebriates, than dipsomania. The latter indicates a thirst mania, which is very rarely seen, and of short duration, while narcomania is a mania for relief, or the intense desire for the anesthetic effects of alcohol, opium or any drug which will quiet the physical or psychical sufferings of the organism, and is common to most cases of alcoholism. An inebriate who has become powerless to control this alcoholic impulse, and who gives way to it continuously, or at intervals, is a diseased man requiring medical recognition and care.

Such men are what may be termed defectives, and in most cases are of bad judgment, weak, erratic, changeable feelings and morbid enthusiasts. Recently the prominence which a few men of this class have taken in the affairs of the country, bring up the question of their

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