What is Alcohol?
Besides its deleterious influence on the nervous system and other important parts of our body, alcohol has a harmful action on the phagocytes (white blood corpuscles), the agents of natural defence against infective microbes - Professor Metchnikoff, Pasteur Institute, Paris.
Alcohol is one of the chief curtailers of life. The man of twenty who drinks has a probable life of fifteen years before him, the abstainer one of forty four years - Professor Lombroso, Italy.
Alcohol perverts the moral nature, affects the judgment and impairs the memory, it, moreover, especially affects the motor system and creates an enormous loss to the community through destroying the productiveness of the skilled craftsman -.Dr. Robert Jones.
In a few statements given above out of so many are set forth the expert opinions of some of the most eminent medical authorities of the world in regard to a most important problem of the human Society as affecting its physical health and all-round well being. Due to considerations of space many valuable comments from persons of great eminence have had to be omitted, the mere listing of their names would need several pages.
Nor would such an exhaustive list serve any useful purpose. Suffice it to say that not only the physicians, the surgeons and the professors of medical institutions in their individual capacity, have given their unequivocal verdict against this dreadful enemy of Society, but also in their collective voice through the mouth-piece of their organized associations all over the world they condemn its evils in no less emphatic terms.
It would be tedious task to recount the resolutions of such associations in the space available here. Yet a few such warnings from highly outstanding expert bodies do bear mention, to bring out the collective views of the medical professor. The Neurologists in session at Chicago thus delivered themselves on this problem.
Whereas, in the opinion of the Neurologists of the United States in convention assembled, it has been definitely established that alcohol when taken into the system acts as a definite poison to the brain and other tissues and, whereas, the effects of this poison are directly or indirectly responsible for a large proportion of the insane, epileptic, feeble-minded and other forms of mental, moral and physical degeneracy; and whereas, many hospitals for the insane and other public institutions are now compelled to admit and care for a multitude of inebriates; and, whereas, many states have already established separate colonies for the treatment and re-education of such inebriates with great benefit to ,the individuals and to the Common-wealth's; therefore be it. Resolved, that we unqualifiedly condemn the use of alcoholic beverages.
Resolved that we recommend the general establishment by all the States and Territories of special colonies of hospitals for the care of the inebriates; and Resolved that organized medicine should initiate and carry on a systematic, persistent propaganda for the education of the public regarding the deleterious effects of alcohol.
The West Virginia State Medical Association thus expresses its views : Whereas the study of alcohol from a scientific stand-point has demonstrated that its action is deceptive and that it does not have the medical properties that were once claimed for it; now therefore be it Resolved by the West Virginia State Medical Association that we deplore the fact that our profession has been quoted so long as claiming for its virtues which it does not possess and that we earnestly pledge ourselves to discourage the use of it, both in and out of the sick room.
The Medical Society of the state of North Carolina, Resolved that it will use its best efforts to discourage the use of alcohol in any form. Resolved second it is the sense of this Society that any member of the profession who does promiscuous or unnecessary prescribing of alcohol either to patients or to non patients is violating one of the principles of our profession and is deserving of censure.
Whereas it is one of the chief contributing factors to poverty, misery and crime. The American Nurses Association in their convention adopted the following resolution: The American Nurses Association believe, that alcohol lessens vital resistance, fosters poverty and all the diseases that come from poverty, hindering the progress of the community.
The pronouncement of the Life Extension Institute of America consisting of ninety four of the most eminent Americans, including professors from the leading universities, the Surgeon General of the United States Army and distinguished physiologists of Medical Faculties.
Faculties is worthy of the deepest consideration vis-à-vis the problem of alcoholism. It runs as follows "Experimental laboratory work has kept pace with Statistical investigation and the knowledge gained from the laboratory, not only in experiment on animals but on man himself, shows that a higher death rate among alcohol users is what we would naturally expect to find in the light of what we know regarding its effects on the body.
One half to one quart of bear is sufficient to distinctly impair memory, lower intellectual power and retard simple mental processes, such as the addition of simple figures. The narcotic or deadening influence is first exerted on the higher reasoning powers that control conduct, so that the lower activities of the mind and nervous system are for a time released.
The every-day well-poised, self-controlled man goes to sleep, as it were, and the primitive man temporarily wakes up. Eventually the nervous system is narcotized and the drinker becomes sleepy. Muscular efficiency is at first increased a little and then lowered, the total effect being a loss of working power.
Alcohol is a handicap for the nation at war. It is a handicap for an individual in the struggle for existence. This is not the judgement of scientists alone, nor of weak and faddists, out of the big-brained, strong-fibered men upon whom has fallen the tremendous :burden of guiding great nations through the greatest crisis of history."
Is alcohol a medicine? Whereas, it is the unanimous opinion of the Council on Health and Public Instruction of the A.M.A. that alcohol has no drug value, either as a stimulant, as - a tonic, or as a therapeutic agent, and that it has no food value; and whereas, its use as a beverage or as a therapeutic agent is detrimental rather than beneficial to the individual.
Therefore, be it resolved that the House of Delegates of the A.M.A. declares it as opposed to the use of alcohol by individuals either as a medicine or as a beverage, and be it further resolved that its use in medicine is permissible only in the preparation and preservation of Pharmaceutical products. (Resolution passed by House of Delegates of American Medical Association 1917).
Statistics show that ten thousand people are killed by liquor and one is killed by a mad dog; yet we shoot the dog and license the liquor What sense is there in this?
It is the drunkards who fill our hospitals and lunatic asylums. By devising this un-natural product (alcohol) unknown to animals, man has increased his sorrows.
Extract from "Life and Health", March 1969, Page 4.
1, Difficult to get along with when drinking.
2. Drinks "because he is depressed".
3. Drinks "to calm his nerves".
4. Drinks until "dead drunk" at times.
5. Can't remember parts of some drinking episodes.
6. Hides liquor.
7. Lies about his drinking.
8. Neglects to eat when he is drinking.
9. Neglects his family when he is drinking.