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Inebriety is a more complex disease than insanity. Its progressive degeneration often dates back to ancestors, to defects of growth, retarded development and early physical and psychic injuries. Later, the poison of alcohol, by its anesthetic and paralyzing action, develops more complex states of degeneration, the form and direction of which is very largely dependent on conditions of living and surroundings.
The psychic symptoms show progressive disease of the higher brain centers, both masked and open, with degrees of palsy and lowered vitality. In insanity many definite pathologic conditions are traceable. In inebriety a wider, more complex range of causes appear, the line of march of which is often traceable in more general laws of dissolution. Its medical treatment must be based on some clear idea of what inebriety is, and the conditions present in the case to be treated. This requires a careful clinical study of the symptoms, tracing
CROTHERS TD. THE MEDICAL TREATMENT OF INEBRIETY. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(19):993–995. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430970015001h
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