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Article
September 8, 1883

IS ALCOHOL ESSENTIALLY A STIMULANT OR A PARALYZANT?

Author Affiliations

PROF. OF PATHOLOGY AND PRACTICE OF MEDICINE, IN THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

JAMA. 1883;I(9):271-273. doi:10.1001/jama.1883.023900900150001f

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Abstract

For many years past, from my own observations and experience, I have been convinced and have taught, that alcoholic drinks should not be spoken of as stimulants—as though their leading effect was the increase of power or activity in the system. That in certain conditions of disease, of shocks from injuries or suffering, and in some persons habituated to their use, they increase action temporarily, I have admitted and still admit; but that their effect in the physiological condition is to increase action, at least to any useful extent, even temporarily, in whatever quantity used, I have for a very long time doubted, and for several years past have very confidently denied. In the particular function where the most positive and ready test can be applied—that of muscular power—experiments have always shown that no quantity of alcohol, small or great, can increase that power in ordinary healthy conditions. One lifting

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