Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/105

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97
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

liquor as a beverage, use alcohol in some form quite freely as medicine, and are as determined and earnest in defence of their favorite "tipple" as any old toper could well be. Many use it in the guise of cordials, tonics, bitters, restoratives and the thousand and one nostrums guaranteed to cure all ills to which human flesh is heir.

The wide-spread belief in the necessity and efficacy of alcoholics as remedies is the greatest hindrance to the success of the temperance cause. It is impossible to convince the mass of the people that what is life-giving as medicine can be death-dealing as beverage. The two stand, or fall, together. Hence there is no more important question before the medical profession, and the people generally, than that of the action of alcohol in disease, and, as a goodly number of the most distinguished and successful physicians of Europe and America declare it to be harmful rather than helpful, it behooves thoughtful people to carefully study the reasons they assign for holding such an opinion. Certainly it is true that if physicians and people would all adopt the views of the advocates of non-alcoholic medication the temperance problem would be solved, and the greatest source of disease, crime, pauperism, insanity and misery would be driven from the face of the earth.

To understand the arguments advanced in favor of non-alcoholic medication it is needful to make some study of the effects of alcohol upon the