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January 8, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(2):29-32. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391270001001

Speaking after the manner of the street, we may say that there is no harder conundrum proposed to modern civilization than this same inebriate. Utterly useless to himself, he becomes a nuisance to everybody body else. This difficulty meets us at the outset of the discussion, what is meant by the inebriate? We are accustomed to consider drunkenness and inebriety as synonomous terms, and yet not every man who gets drunk is what we call an inebriate. The best man in the world, at least in his age—it is true that age was sunk rather low—was Noah, and he was barely out of the ark when he got drunk; yet, in view of his previous as well as subsequent history, we should hesitate to call him an inebriate.

To better illustrate the meaning of the term inebriate, I present to you in this paper the brief memoir of a typical

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