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July 1930


Author Affiliations

Assistant Attending Neurologist at New York Neurological Institute; Associate in Psychiatry, Columbia University NEW YORK

Arch NeurPsych. 1930;24(1):116-134. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1930.02220130119011

The strong impulse to drink which develops into an irresistible craving can be understood only psychobiologically, namely, as a reaction on the part of an individual organization to an environmental situation. These deeper personal needs expressing themselves in alcoholic sprees or chronic tippling are not always easy to understand, lying, as they often do, concealed beneath a mass of rationalizations and deceptions. My purpose in this paper is to investigate to some extent in a small group of cases available the importance of individual factors in determining the tendency to drink, and to throw some light on the significance of alcohol in the life adjustment of the personality.

The thirty cases here presented for study occurred in patients of the Blythewood Sanitarium who have been under observation for periods varying from a few days to six months. They have been selected on the basis of detailed records available and not