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March 8, 1890

THE DISABILITIES OF INEBRIETY—AN INQUIRY RESPECTING THE NATURE OF DRUNKENNESS, AND OF ITS RESPONSIBILITIES.Read in the Section of Medical Jurisprudence, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889.

JAMA. 1890;XIV(10):332-336. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410100008001a

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Confident assertions respecting the nature and responsibilities of the drunken state are unwise, and very often are unjust. As a matter of fact, drunkenness does not always represent the same condition of the human organism. It does not owe its origin in different persons to similar causes. Its progress is extremely unlike in separate individuals. Its consequences are various and dissimilar in fundamental and decisive particulars. Moreover, the causes which incite to drunkenness may become modified, as physical impairments and degenerations are developed within the structure.

One of the leading elements that enters into the nature of drunkenness is paralysis. This disability is not a consequence of intoxication, but is a component part of it. Attention to this fact will furnish the key to an explanation of the wide range of incentives which lure to alcoholic excess. In the human economy the nervous system is paramount. It not only controls

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