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Article
November 25, 1911

CHRONIC ALCOHOLISM: WHAT CAN AND WHAT CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED BY TREATMENT

Author Affiliations

MEMPHIS, TENN.

JAMA. 1911;LVII(22):1744-1750. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260110244005
Abstract

Until the last quarter of a century, alcoholism was almost universally regarded as a mere moral perversion, a bad habit entered into and continued because of moral degeneracy. Numerous efforts were made to reclaim and reform the drunkard. Almost all of these consisted in an appeal to the moral and emotional nature of drinking men and many were thus influenced to abandon the use of alcohol, but a large majority were unreached by these efforts. In more recent years, the wretched condition of these men has appealed strongly to scientific men who were students of human nature as well as of abstract science, and the causes or influences which lead such men to enter on and continue the use of alcoholic beverages has been studied from every view-point. These studies have fully established the fact that only in a very small percentage of cases is alcoholism a mere moral perversion,

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