One truth attendant on ordinary consuming stands out so prominently that none can name it in question. It’s that of the steady progress of appetite. There are exceptions, as within the action of practically every rule; however the nearly invariable result of the habit now we have talked about, is, as now we have mentioned, a gentle growth of appetite for the stimulant imbibed. That this is in consequence of sure morbid modifications in the bodily situation produced by the alcohol itself, will hardly be questioned by any one who has made himself acquainted with the varied purposeful and natural derangements which invariably observe the continued introduction of this substance into the body.
But it’s to the actual fact itself, not to its trigger, that we now wish to direct your attention. The person who is glad at first with a single glass of wine at dinner, finds, after awhile, that urge for food asks for somewhat extra; and, in time, a second glass is conceded. The rise of desire could also be very gradual, nevertheless it goes on surely till, in the end, a complete bottle will scarcely suffice, with far too many, to fulfill its imperious demands. It is the similar in regard to the use of each different type of alcoholic drink.
Now, there are men so constituted that they’re ready, for an extended sequence of years, and even for an entire lifetime, to hold this urge for food within a sure limit of indulgence. To say “So far, and no farther.” They endure finally from physical illnesses, which certainly comply with the prolonged contact of alcoholic poison with the delicate buildings of the body, many of a painful character, and shorten the term of their natural lives; however still they’re able to drink without an increase of appetite so nice as to achieve an overmastering degree. They don’t turn out to be abandoned drunkards.
No man is safe who drinks. ———————-
However no man who begins the usage of alcohol in any type can tell what, in the long run, is going to be its effect on his body or mind. Hundreds and tens of thousands, as soon as wholly unconscious of danger from this source, go down yearly into drunkards’ graves. There is no such thing as a commonplace by which any one can measure the latent evil forces in his inherited nature. He might have from ancestors, near or remote, an unhealthy ethical tendency, or bodily diathesis, to which the peculiarly disturbing affect of alcohol will give the morbid situation through which it’ll find its disastrous life. That such results observe the use of alcohol in numerous circumstances, is now a widely known fact in the historical past of inebriation. The subject of alcoholism, with the psychological and moral causes leading thereto, have attracted a substantial amount of earnest attention. Physicians, superintendents of inebriate and lunatic asylums, jail-keepers, legislators and philanthropists have been observing and finding out its many sad and terrible phases, and recording results and opinions. Whereas variations are held on some factors, as, for instance, whether or not drunkenness is a illness for which, after it has been established, the individual ceases to be responsible, and ought to be subject to restraint and remedy, as for lunacy or fever; against the law to be punished; or a sin to be repented of and healed by the Physician of souls, all agree that there’s an inherited or acquired psychological and nervous situation with many, which renders any use of alcohol exceedingly dangerous.
The purpose we want to make with you is, that no man can probably know, until he has used alcoholic drinks for a sure period of time, whether or not he has or has not this hereditary or acquired physical or mental condition; and that, if it should exist, a discovery of the very fact might come too late.
Dr. D.G. Dodge, late Superintendent of the New York State Inebriate Asylum, talking of the causes resulting in intemperance, after stating his perception that it is a transmissible disease, like “scrofula, gout or consumption,” says:
“There are men who’ve an organization, which can be termed an alcoholic idiosyncrasy; with them the latent need for stimulants, if indulged, quickly leads to habits of intemperance, and finally to a morbid urge for food, which has all the characteristics of a diseased situation of the system, which the patient, unassisted, is powerless to relieve because the weakness of the will that led to the disease obstructs its removal.
“Once more, we find in another class of persons, those who have had healthy mother and father, and have been educated and accustomed to good social influences, ethical and social, however whose temperament and bodily constitution are such, that, after they once indulge in using stimulants, which they discover pleasurable, they continue to habitually indulge until they stop to be moderate, and turn out to be extreme drinkers. A depraved urge for food is established, that leads them on slowly, however surely, to destruction.”