The Part Played By Alcohol
The part played by alcohol in ruining lives juvenile as well as adult-has been the subject of the day-to-day working of the land courts. Here are reproduced some of the judgements of the United States Supreme Court, which should serve as eye-openers for all those who view crime, especially juvenile crime, with the horror it deserve as the chief cause of the destruction of social harmony and happiness.
1. If a loss of revenue should accrue to the United States from a diminished consumption of ardent spirit, she will be a gainer a thousand fold in the health, wealth and happiness of the people.
2. We cannot shut out of view the fact, within the knowledge, of all, that the public health, the public morals and the public safety may be endangered by the several uses of intoxicating drinks, nor the fact established by statistics accessible to everyone that the idleness, disorder, pauperism and crime existing in the country are in some degree at least, traceable to this evil.
3. That drunkenness is an evil both to the individual and to the State, will probably be admitted. That its legitimate consequences are disease and destruction of mind and body will also be granted. That it. produces from four fifth to nine-tenth of all the crimes committed is the united testimony of those judges, prison keepers, Sheriffs and others engaged in the administration of the criminal law, who have investigated the subject, that taxation to meet the expenses of pauperism and crime falls upon and is borne by the people, follows as a matter of course. That its tendency is to destroy the peace, safety and well-being of the people, to secure which the first article in the Bill of Rights, declares all free governments are instituted, is too obvious to be denied.
4. Probably no greater source of crime and sorrow has ever existed than the Social drinking saloons. Social drinking is the evil of evils. It has probably caused more drunkenness and has made more drunkards than all other causes combined; and drunkenness is a pernicious source of all kinds of crime and sorrow. It is a Pandora's box, sending forth innumerable ills and woes, shame and disgrace, indigence, poverty and wants. Social happiness destroyed, domestic broils and bickering engendered, social ties severed, homes made desolate, families scattered, heart-rending partings, sin, crime and untold sorrow, not even hope left, but every-thing lost, an everlasting farewell to all true happiness, and to all the nobler aspirations, rightfully belonging to every true and virtuous human being.
5. The train of evils which marks the progress of intemperance is too obvious to require comment. It brings with it degradation of character, impairs the moral and physical energies, wastes the health, increases the number of paupers and criminals, undermines the morals and sinks its victims to the lowest depths of vice and profligacy.
6. It is still the prolific source of diseases, misery, pauperism, vice and crime. Its power to weaken, corrupt, debauch and slay human character and human life is not destroyed or impaired because it may be susceptible of some innocent uses,
7. There is no statistically or economically better established proposition, nor one to which a more general assent is given by reading and intelligent minds, than this : That the use of intoxicating liquors as drink is the cause of more want, pauperism, suffering, crimes and public expense than any other cause-and perhaps it should be said-than all other causes combined.
Every state applies the most stringent legal power to lotteries, gambling, keeping gambling houses, and implements, and to debauchery and obscenity, and no one questions the right and justice of it, and yet how small is the weight of woe produced by all these united, when compared with that which is created by the use of intoxicating drink alone.
8. The evils that result from the use of intoxicating liquors, generally occur at the place where they are consumed, and tendency to crime and pauperism follow in that place. By the general concurrence of opinion of every civilized community, there are few sources of crime and misery to Society equal to the dram shop, where intoxicating liquors in small quantities to be drunk at the time, are sold indiscriminately to all parties applying. The statistics of every state show a greater amount of crime and misery attributable to the use of ardent spirits obtained at these retail liquor saloons, than to any other source.
These are only a fee of the pronouncements of judgements of the highest courts of the United states of America. They bring out clearly the intimate connection that , subsists between the waves of crime, sweeping that "civilized" community and the powerful potentials that alcohol possesses as producers of the conditions that favour disorderly conduct. These findings of the most eminent intellects are based on direct experience of the day-to-day working of the legal system.
They unanimously condemn the role of alcohol as enemy No. 1, of peace and order in a community, before which the judges, the legislators, and the public leaders sit helpless. As far back as 1907, Judge Ira W. Christian of the circuit court of Hamilton County (Indiana), pronounced a judgment to the effect that a retail liquor shop is within itself a public nuisance and that the statute authorising the licensing of such a shop is unconstitutional.
Judge R. Samuel Artiman in his profoundly well-planned book, "The Legalized Outlaw" has reproduced such cases very, adequately in their bearing on crime and other evils in Society. His own judgment delivered in the same year 1907, is among the most notable pronouncement in the annals of American law-courts. This decision was to the effect that 11 the State of Indiana had no right to authorise the licensing of a saloon and that the statute providing for so doing was unconstitutional.
The case was never taken in appeal to a higher court of law and the decision stands unrevoked un-impeached to this day. It awakened universal interest and wide discussion. Millions of copies of this decision were distributed by public demand and it was printed as a public document by the United States Senate as a "State Document, No, 384". The book referred to above, "The Legalized Outlaw " elaborates the principles involved in this decision, giving the full text and complete details of the case under review.
No one can view with equanimity the havoc played by liquor traffic in the orderly management of the affairs of a community, far less the judges whose chief responsibility is the maintenance of peace and order in the Society. The really well. intentioned among them have tried to bring to light the effect which alcohol has on ruining the lives of the people and their domestic happiness through the criminal attitudes, which it engenders in the minds of its victims.
If drink is an evil thing, let us prohibit it to all races in this country. Republic of South Africa Mr. R.B. Durrant
First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes the man. Japanese Proverb.
This (alcohol) poison is a recognised poison. We all know this. The noxious effects of alcohol are as obvious as the, light of moon day sun. It is common knowledge that it is a poison, and yet people persist in poisoning themselves. Dr. Charles Richet of Paris.
The curse of intoxication. Drunkenness takes away the man, and leaves only the brute; it dethrones reason from its seat, stupefies conscience; ruins health, wastes property, covers the wretch with rags; reduces wife and children to want and beggary, and gives such power to appetite that physically as well as normally, it is next to impossible to cure it. Mr. W. Jay.
Alcohol lessens man's power of physical endurance, delays recovery from fatigue, increases the ill-affect of great heat or cold, blunts the senses, retards nerve response, diminishes self-control, blurs the judgement. Sir Alfred Pearce Could, K.C.V.O., M.S., F.R.C.S.
This spirit (of Islam) may be expected to manifest itself in many practical ways and one of these manifestations might be liberation from alcohol which was in spited by religious conviction and which was, therefore, able to accomplish what could never be enforced by external sanction of an alien law. Professor A. Toynbes.
Kings, Parliaments, Academies, Ministers, all those who claim to lead the masses, though well aware that alcohol degrades the people, do nothing to prevent this degradation. This is not merely stupid but shameful. Dr. Charles Richet of Paris.
It (Islam) has set an example of sobriety to the world and has shielded its followers from the drink plague which destroys the strength of the nations. Bishop Carpenter.
The combined harm of the three great scourges - war, famine and pestilence - is not as terrible as that of wine drinking. Gladstone.
The success of Islam in persuading its adherents to abstain from the use of wine is a notable achievement. David M. Kay.
Alcohol has none of the vitamins or minerals necessary for good health. Evening Standard (Special Correspondent).
Alcohol poisons the vital cells of the body, acts directly upon the nervous system and the brain, impairing one's higher faculties, judgement, conception and control long before the least symptoms of drunkenness appear. Sir William Wileox, M.D.
The following poignant pronouncement of Judge, William M. G. Emill of Chicago points out clearly the impressions which the drink habit -makes on those charged with the task of dealing with crimes records. Says he, Booze is the matter of crime. It gives life and sustenance to slums, dives, brothels, gambling dens, and pay-off joints.
It nerves to his deed the homicide, the stick-up man, the burglar, the thief and the thug. It fires the brain of the prostitute and the panderer. It feeds and inflames the passions of the week-mined and the degenerate. "I have tried an army of 50,000 human derelicts, most of whom were booze-soaked. With faces red and bloated, with eyes dull and languid, with bodies week and wasted, with clothing, foul and ragged, this vast army is for ever marching with unsteady step to the graves of the drunkard and the pauper or to the prison and workhouse.
"I have looked into the tear-stained face, of a still larger army of fathers and mothers and sisters, wives and husbands, as they have pleaded for the miserable wrecks that booze has made. I have seen with this army ten thousand pale faced, hollow-cheeked, ragged, hungry and starving children cursed by booze.
I have observed that every bandit crew that goes forth to murder starts from a saloon; that every panderer has his rendezvous in a grog, shop; that every den of thieves makes its victim drunk before it robs them; that every house of prostitution has its bar or is in partnership with booze; that every gambling den either is in a Saloon or sustains a close relationship with one; that the pick-pocket 'trust' is housed in a Saloon; that the spay-off' joint for the crook and the crooked policeman is in a saloon, that the professional bondsman and character witnesses for thieves and hold-up men are saloon-keepers or bar-tenders.
Judges, legislators, mayors, governors and even Presidents sit dumb or quail in the presence of this monster, which enters millions of homes and leaves them desolate. "I have witnessed daily its ravages after it had spent its wild fury upon the helpless bodies of women and children, or after it had reaped for a night, in the public dance, its harvest of virtue, now dead for ever. I have observed that the last man to be employed and the first to be discharged is a victim of booze. Booze never built a park, a playground, a school or a church, but is the enemy of them all. War may be hell, but where it slays its thousands, booze destroys its tens of thousands".
Three thousand twenty two saloons in Chicago maintain bed-rooms for the use of their patrons. Six hundred and thirty three Saloons operate restaurants, cafes and Cabarets; 718 have dance rooms and 63 'palm' gardens. Private entrances are provided by 2594 Saloons. Federal Judge Lawdis remarks in this connection. "Here are thirty-two saloons confessedly managed by Mr. Buxt's company and they have been steadfastly breaking the law for at least ten years".
Vices to which Alcohol gives birth. "When the alcohol vice has become a habit it is difficult to cure is men; it is all but impossible in women", remarks Sir Andrew Clark, physician to Queen Victoria. This habit in women, ruinous to their own character and health in every sense of the evil, is astounding in effect on the offspring's in a far greater degree than when the offending parent is the father.
The Brewer's Journal editorially comments that "Newspaper advertising for beer should be designed to attract and appeal to women as well as men, for if beer is to be used in the home, women must be won over to it", And, according to the same journal it is, "comparatively easy to convince the women". The regular campaigns launched by liquor interests to promote the alcohol habit among the fair sex, is paying high dividends.
On a count being arranged, 160 girls were found to have gone into a single saloon in three hours. Mrs. Jane Deeter Rippon, Chief Probation Officer of the Domestic Relations Court and Mrs. Albert H. Smith, Secretary of the Association of City Police Matrons, Philadelphia, have stated that ever-increasing numbers of young girls of respectable families are succumbing to the alcohol evil.
According to their responsible declarations, "These girls are not ordinary prostitutes, but shop-girls and other young girls from 16 to 22 years of age. Scores of such girls are nightly drunk in the Cafes of the city".
A number of commissions on vice, the Chicago Vice Commission, the Philadelphia Commission among them have conclusively established that there is a close connection between the traffic in liquors and commercialised vice. According to the Wisconsin Legislative Committee, appointed to investigate the conditions of the vicious service. "The Committee finds that the chief direct cause of the down-fall of women and girls is the close connection between alcoholic drink and commercialised vice."
The Chicago Commission "found the most conspicuous and important element next to the house of prostitution itself was the saloon and the most important financial interest - the liquor interest," in the Commission's investigation of the Social Evil. It goes on to say that "As a contributory influence to immorality, there is no interest so dangerous." The Chicago Commission investigated the conditions prevailing in 445 saloons. Of these "No less than 236 were nothing but houses of prostitution. There were in them counted 928 prostitutes".
"Children, girls whose innocence yet followed hard upon their shame, tiny boys and even babies, messengers far under-age and half-frightened countrymen were found in practically every saloon while drunken women, short skirted and blear-eyed, with sin and disease written strong upon their faces, lolled beside them and drank imitation drinks for which exorbitant prices had been charged. Indecent exposures of the person and almost unbelievable community freedom were prevalent in Saloons of apparent exterior respectability".
The report under review is explicit that ""wayward girls are brought to their ruin almost exclusively through alcoholic drinks. Does the tired working girl seek recreation in the dance sooner or later she must yield to the temptation to drink, and then - her future is settled for all time. Does the girl beset with poverty seek the easiest way? She goes to the nearest saloon, where she is met with smiles and flattery and put to work to add to the bar's receipts."
The Chicago Commission found in numerous instances that the saloons were situated in close proximity to schools. They were daily filled with innocent children. In one saloon the investigator found eighteen prostitutes drinking at one time. Five of these women invited the visitor to participate in immoral deeds."
The Royal Commission of England appointed to study the relation of alcohol to the prevalence of sex immorality has some very pertinent and outstanding facts to disclose. Among them:
(i) Alcoholic liquor, by weakening self control, is the most important factor in aggravating Social vice conditions; that the drinker is peculiarly liable to yield to the temptations which other-wise might be resisted. One physician reports that out of thousands of cases, he had found 80 per cent had been under the influence of liquor when they acquired their diseases through sexual licence.
(ii) Alcohol makes the treatment of such patients very much difficult.
(iii) Alcohol complicates the picture of the diseases that are acquired through sex immorality. Alcohol and Medical Research. There was a time when the Western Medical opinion favoured the use of alcohol in certain diseases.
It was considered stimulant and was supposed to possess some food value, close investigations have, however, conclusively proved that alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant at all. Its apparent stimulating effect is due to its paralysing properties on the nerve centres.
When alcohol is taken into the stomach, that organ with its inherent revulsion for the various products at, once expels it into the blood stream; which carries it into the brain centres and stupefies them. Now, it is these brain centres that control the movements of the muscles.
With stupefaction overtaking the controlling mechanisms, the muscles activity is released of all restraint and goes wild, giving an impression of heightened power. The process may be compared to the disabling of the governor of a steam engine, which then conveys the impression of an accelerated speed. As a matter of fact, neither the narcotized human organism nor the control-free steam engine can have acquired any increase in working capacity, which can come only by the supply of suitable fuel material. Alcohol does not add any power to the organism "it only smashes the governor", as is aptly expressed by a research scholar of the U.S.A.
As for its food value, the late Sir Spencer Wells M.D., F.R.C.S., endorsed the current findings of medical research on the point in the following words: "It is only lately that we have begun to regard alcohol in its true light as a drug and not as a food."
To this Dr Harvey H. Wiley adds, "It is without question a substance which does not nourish the body building tissue or repair waste. Dr W.A. Evans, medical editor of the Chicago Tribune and former health officer of Chicago, says, "No health authority anywhere advocates the use of alcohol as a medicine, food or beverage. Every drink is a mixed drink. There are no other kinds, When a man takes a drink, however simple it may be, he mixes in some degeneration of his nerve cells, some chance of delirium tremens and a few other ingredients. Let him understand, that he also pours into the glass about one finger of wet brain."
The new York City Board of Health in a pamphlet warned the people against the evils of drink thus: Alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant, it drugs the brain and stops the capacity of the nervous system to obey the will.
Don't muddle your brain by drinking bear, John Stuart Mill put it very tersely when he said, "Who would not be a human dissatisfied, rather than a pig satisfied? Think before you drink for after a bear or highball you cannot think so well."
The great German philosopher Goethe repeatedly asserted that so-called stimulation by liquor could produce only a forced, inferior creation of ideas. Happiness and contentment are said to spring from the benumbing influence of alcohol upon the higher brain functions. Such happiness is false, such contentment bought at the expense of individual mental liberty.
The Chicago Board of Health in a bulletin thus condemns the evil: The fellow with alcohol in his system is not a good witness as to its effects on himself, for his mind as well as his body is bribed by the drug, and is as full of prejudice as his breath is full of fumes. In another bulletin the following warning is given to the drunkard: The heavy drinker who contracts pneumonia should not lose an hour in settling his affairs, as he will, in all probability be unconscious with delirium within twenty-four to forty-eight hours from the time his disease is first diagnosed.
Dr. Robert A. bare, professor of therapeutics of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, in his classic "Practical Therapeutics" has laid down the following verdict of medical scholarship: "Alcohol never acts as a stimulant to the brain, the spinal cord or the nerves. The depression of the inhibitory nervous apparatus. The activity is, therefore, that caused by lack of control and is not a real increase of energy. The effect of moderate doses differs from the effect of large ones in degree and not in kind.
Alcohol is a poison and its evils effects are so great that every courageous man should help to eliminate them.
One is baffled, in the face of complete unanimity among all sections of the human Society about the evils which alcohol gives birth to as to how this so called rational being both as an individual and in social groups submits himself to be swayed into self-destruction by this poison. No sane thinking mind can be found to say a friendly word in favour of alcoholic liquors.
Below are given the opinions of some of the most eminent medical authorities of the west in regard to the characteristic damage that humanity is exposed to by this inveterate enemy of all good senses. The testimony of such famous doctors should convince even the incurable drunkard to pause in his head-long pursuit of self-immolation on the altar of Bacchus.
Drunkenness and its consequent degeneracy, explain 35 per cent of epilepsy - Dr. Mathew Woods.
Twenty-eight percent of the men admitted to this hospital during the past year were alcoholised. This does not include alcohol-caused insanity - Dr. H. C. Eyman, of the Massilon, Ohio, Asylum.
A son-stroke, is often nothing more nor less than a bear-stroke - Dr. W. A. Evans, Medical Editor, Chicago Tribune.
I am not aware of any medical connection in which alcohol is necessary, nor of any in which it could not, with advantage, be replaced by some less dangerous drug - Sir Arthur Chance M. D.
Twenty five of the 100 deaths which occur every day in Chicago are caused directly or indirectly by alcohol - John D. Robinson, Health Commissioner.
Alcohol is not a medicine, it aggravates diseases and hastens death, it is productive of physical and mental degeneracy, and should be no longer prescribed by intelligent physicians. It is the best possible persuader of disease and damaging even in small doses - Dr. De W. H. G. Wilcox.
Alcohol replaces more actively vital materials by fat and fibrous tissue; it substitutes suppurations by new growths it helps time to produce the effect of age ; and in a word is the genius of degeneration - Dr. Dickinson of England.
Alcohol is a poison. It is claimed by some that alcohol is a food. If so, it is a poisoned food - Frederick Peterson, M. D., Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University.
Extract from "Life and Health"
Page No. 21
"Alcohol acts as a poison to the human system. The body tries to get rid of it as rapidly as possible. It serves no good purpose in the body." - Francis A. Soper, Listen, May, 1968."
You are right in indicting alcohol for its insidious wrongs to humanity. It is an old and shy offender and very much the "mocker", in medical practice that it has been pronounced in the Holy Writ. It exhausts the latent energy of the organism. Upon investigation I found 38 per cent of our male tubercular patients were excessive users of alcohol, 56 per cent were moderate users.
From my study of the cases, I am led to believe that in a vast majority of these cases drink has been a large factor in producing the disease, by exposure, lowering the vitality etc - O. C. Willhite, M. D., Superintendent of Cook County Hospital for Consumptives.
In tuberculosis there is a state of overstimulation of the circulatory system due to the toxins. The use of alcoholics simply makes the condition worse - H. J. Blankmeyer, M. D., Sanatorium Gabvels, New York.
That in view of the close connection between alcoholism and tuberculosis, this congress strongly emphasizes the importance of combining the fight against tuberculosis with the struggle against alcoholism. Resolution adopted by the International Congress on Tuberculosis, held in Paris, October 1905. Alcohol is the most potent factor in the production of crime, and I have never known of alcohol -Dr. J.T. Tilmore, Superintendent of the Ontario Reformatory.
Whisky and other forms of alcohol have caused more deaths after snake-bite than the venom of the Snake - Dr. L. K. Hirshborg of John Hopkins University.
The children of drinking fathers are very much more liable to tuberculosis. The results of my investigations are as follows; 149 occasional drinkers 8.7 per cent tuberculosis children; 169 habitual drinkers-10.7 per cent tuberculosis children; 67 moderate drinkers - 16.4 per cent tuberculosis children; 60 confirmed drunkards - 21.7 per cent tuberculosis children. Professor A. Von. Burge, Basil.
Whether we look to America, the West Indies, Egypt, India, Arabia or Persia, there is the same testimony that the health and discipline of soldiers are much better when they are not allowed or cannot get alcoholic liquors. Dr. James Ridge, Medical Officer of Health, Enfield England.
Spirits and poisons are synonymous terms.- Sir Astley Cooper, M.D.
Alcohol is the pathological fraud of frauds. Dr. Norman Kerr, England.
Alcohol is, under no conditions and in no amount beneficial to the healthy body. Professor Fick, Physiologist, Germany.
For every real drunkard there are fifty others suffering from the effects of alcohol. George Harley, M. D. England.
I dread the task of operating on a drinker Sir William Paget, M. D.
"Lobular pneumonia, Cardiac failure"-so runs the usual certificate, and the cause of the cardiac failure in ninety nine cases out of a hundred is alcohol.-Dr. A. A. Hill. On the use of alcohol, British Medical Journal.
Alcohol causes the guards to sleep at their posts until man's enemy, disease, has gained its foot-hold.-S. G. Stewart, M. D. Kansas Medical College.
One fights shy of having to operate upon patients who are alcoholic, because of the degeneration of their tissues - they do not heal well in spite of the scepticism of the present day. W. McAdam Hceles, M.S.
Trying to cure consumption with whisky is like trying to put out a fire with kerosene - John E. White, M. D., Medical Director, Nordrach Ranch, Sanatorium.