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August 23, 1924


JAMA. 1924;83(8):615-616. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660080045015

The protagonists for the use of alcohol freely admit that this substance is a narcotic when used in large doses. The controversy regarding its physiologic effects centers on the action of more moderate intakes, such as do not betray themselves by an inebriating outcome. In relation to these, we are told that alcohol is a sedative on some human functions and a stimulant to others. Thus, one writer5 freely asserts that in moderate amounts alcohol "is distinctly a heart stimulant and a cerebral vasodilator." He further recalls experiments indicating that alcohol produces a relative acceleration of the pulse; indeed, it is alleged that alcohol, in heroic doses, can stimulate in certain cases "to the point of dragging the moribund from the very portals of death." With respect to the pulse, the majority of observers are agreed in stating that the swallowing of a moderate dose of alcohol is followed