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The causes of alcoholic inebriety may be divided into predisposing and exciting, and the latter into two forms, direct and indirect. Inebriety from either of these latter subdivisions may be comprehended under one term, "acquired" inebriety—in contradistinction to those forms of inebriety directly traceable to heredity. This term "acquired" we shall apply to the form of inebriety due to "accidental" causes.
In the great majority of cases inebriety is not voluntarily acquired in the same sense that a person deliberately and as a matter of choice "makes himself an inebriate" so to speak, we use the term acquired, therefore, as we would apply it to other diseased conditions, not necessarily by its use implying a "moral delinquency." The predisposing cause of inebriety is latent and has to be called out by some exciting cause, either direct or indirect, usually of a slighter nature than would develop an "acquired inebriety."
MASON LD. ETIOLOGY OF ALCOHOLIC INEBRIETY.Read before the American Association for the Study and Cure of inebriety, April 11, 1891. JAMA. 1891;XVI(18):627–629. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410700015002c
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