A fact associated with the usual drink stands out so prominently that no one can question it.
It is the constant growth of appetite. There are exceptions, as with almost all rules.
Still, the almost invariable result of the habit we mentioned is, as we said, steady growth in appetite for the absorbed stimulant.
That this is a consequence of specific morbid changes in the physical condition produced by alcohol itself, will hardly be questioned by someone who has become familiar with the various functional and organic disorders that invariably follow the continuous introduction of this substance into the body.
But it is for the fact itself, not for its cause, that we now want to direct your attention.
The man who is satisfied at first with a single glass of wine during dinner finds, after a while, that his appetite asks for a little more, and, over time, a second glass is awarded.
The increase in desire can be prolonged, but it continues for sure until, in the end, an entire bottle will hardly be enough, with many, to meet your imperative demands.
It is the same concerning the use of any other form of alcoholic beverage.
Now, there are men so constituted that they are capable, for a long series of years, or even for a lifetime, to maintain that appetite within a specific limit of indulgence.
To say: “So far, and no more.”
Ultimately, they suffer from physical illnesses, which inevitably follow the prolonged contact of the alcoholic poison with the delicate structures of the body, many of which are painful, and shorten the term of their natural lives.
However, they can still drink without an increase in appetite so significant as to reach a degree of overcoming. They don’t become drunk abandoned—nobody sure drinks.
But no man who starts using alcohol in any way can say what, in the end, will affect his body or mind. Thousands and tens of thousands, once utterly unaware of the danger of this source, descend annually to the graves of drunks.
There is no standard by which one can measure the evil forces underlying his inherited nature.
He may have, from ancestors, near or remote, an unhealthy moral tendency or physical diathesis, to which the particularly disturbing influence of alcohol will give the morbid condition in which he will find his life disastrous.
The fact that these results accompany alcohol use in a large number of cases is now a well-known fact in the history of abortion.
The subject of alcoholism, with the mental and moral causes that led it, attracted a lot of attention.
Doctors, superintendents of intoxicated and lunatic asylums, prisoners, legislators, and philanthropists have observed and studied its many sad and terrible phases, and recorded results and opinions.
Although there are differences in some points, such as whether drunkenness is a disease for which, once established, the individual is no longer responsible and must be subject to restrictions and treatment, such as madness or fever; a crime to be punished, or a sin to be repented and healed by the Soul Physician, everyone agrees that there are many inherited or acquired mental and nervous conditions that make alcohol use extremely dangerous.
The point we want to take with you is that no one can know, until he has used alcoholic beverages for a specific time, whether or not he has this inherited or acquired physical or mental condition; and that, if it exists, a discovery of the fact may be too late. Dr. D.G. Dodge, the late overseer of the New York state embryo asylum, speaking of the causes that led to intemperance, after stating his belief that it is a contagious disease, such as “scruple, gout or consumption,” says: “There are men who have an organization, which can be called alcoholic idiosyncrasy; with them, the latent desire for stimulants, if forced, soon leads to intemperance habits and, eventually, to a morbid appetite, which has all the characteristics of a system disease, which the patient, without assistance, is powerless to relieve, since the weakness of the will that led to the condition prevents its removal.
“Again, we find in another class of people, those who had healthy parents and were educated and accustomed to good social influences. , moral and social, but whose temperament and physical constitution are such that when once they indulge in the use of stimulants, which they consider pleasurable, they continue to habitually consume until they stop being moderate and become excessive drinkers.
A depraved appetite is established, which slowly but surely leads to destruction “.