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April 18, 1885


JAMA. 1885;IV(16):430-431. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390910010001a

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Some time ago a physician wrote condemning very earnestly an article of mine, in which I asserted that inebriety was always a disease, passing through varied fixed stages, that could be recognized and successfully treated. Also, that until this subject was taken up by physicians from the standpoint of exact science, no progress or practical results would follow. To him, these and other statements were infidel errors of the gravest character. My silence and refusal to enter into any controversy on this matter were construed as evidence of inability to sustain these statements, which stimulated him to read and publish a severe personal criticism, that he would gladly recall to-day. Soon after this, a member of his own family became an inebriate. The case in brief was as follows: A young man of weak nervous organization, with disordered nutrient taste, and without any special education or purpose in life, was

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