Alcoholism disease or choice Alcoholism disease model Alcoholism disease or disorder Alcoholism disease definition Alcoholism disease brain Alcoholism disease debate Alcoholism disease or behavior Alcoholism diseases associated Alcoholism diseases and con. Dr. Benjamin Rush and His Views on Alcoholism

In 1784, Benjamin Rush, M.D., a noted and influential physician from Philadelphia and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, published his book, Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind. This book included Rush’s views on alcoholism and his forward-thinking ideas on temperance. Alcoholism disease.

Rush, the former surgeon general of the Continental Army during the Revolution, was the first prominent physician of his time (and for many years beyond his time) to see alcoholism as a disease and also as a problem that required treatment. He urged the establishment of special hospitals specifically designed to treat alcoholics, which he called “sober houses.”

Today Rush is viewed as the father of American psychiatry. However, Dr. Rush was primarily concerned with the health risks of distilled spirits, and he saw no problem with drinking beer, wine, or hard cider. Today it is known that individuals can become dependent on these substances as well.

Rush said of alcoholism, “The use of strong drink is at first the effect of free agency. From habit it takes place and from necessity.

Alcoholism disease or choice Alcoholism disease model Alcoholism disease or disorder Alcoholism disease definition Alcoholism disease brain Alcoholism disease debate Alcoholism disease or behavior Alcoholism diseases associated Alcoholism diseases and con

That this is the case, I infer from persons who are inordinately devoted to the use of ardent spirits being irreclaimable, by all the considerations which domestic obligations, friendship, reputation, property, and sometimes even by those which religion and the love of life, can suggest to them. An instance of insensibility to the last, in an habitual drunkard, occurred some years ago in Philadelphia. When strongly urged, by one of his friends, to leave off drinking, he said, ‘Were a keg of rum in one corner of a room, and were a cannon constantly discharging balls between me and it, I could not refrain from passing before that cannon, in order to get at the rum.’ “

Rush continued, “Who can calculate the extensive influence of a drunken husband or wife upon the property and morals of their families, and of the waste of the former, and corruption of the latter, upon the order and happiness of society?”

Amethyst Initiative. Statement. Available online. Accessed March 1, 2009.

Alcoholism disease or choice Alcoholism disease model Alcoholism disease or disorder Alcoholism disease definition Alcoholism disease brain Alcoholism disease debate Alcoholism disease or behavior Alcoholism diseases associated Alcoholism diseases and con

Beirness, Douglas J., and Erin E. Beasley. Alcohol and Drug Use Among Drivers: British Columbia Roadside Survey, 2008. Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2009.

Berridge, Virginia, and Sarah Mars. “History of Addictions.” Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health 58 (2003): 747–750.

Blanco, Carlos, M.D., et al. “Mental Health of College Students and Their Non-College-Attending Peers: Results from the National Epidemiologic Study on Alcohol and Related Conditions.” Archives of General Psychiatry 65, no. 12 (2008): 1,429–1,437.

Alcoholism disease or choice Alcoholism disease model Alcoholism disease or disorder Alcoholism disease definition Alcoholism disease brain Alcoholism disease debate Alcoholism disease or behavior Alcoholism diseases associated Alcoholism diseases and con

Blocker, Jack S., Jr. “Did Prohibition Really Work: Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation.” American Journal of Public Health 96, no. 2 (2006): 233–243.

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