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March 2, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(9):803. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520350061015

A bill is now before the Pennsylvania Legislature providing for the erection of a state hospital for the detention, care and treatment of persons addicted to the excessive use of alcohol or certain poisonous drugs— opium, chloral, cocain—and who are designated as inebriates, dipsomaniacs or drug habitués. Two other states are successfully conducting asylums for inebriates and the results so far have been gratifying. Modern views on inebriety tend to confirm the theory, as Dr. Butler1 declares, that the excessive use of alcohol and enslaving drugs is due to a diseased condition and one amenable to proper treatment. While there may be some doubt as to the original responsibility for the disease in some cases, there is not so much question as to its being due, in large part at least, to an unfortunate heredity, the tendency often being aggravated by an unfortunate environment. Hence, the call for a

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