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Alcoholism — A Worldwide Curse

MILLIONS are affected by the growing evil of alcoholism.
Lives are ruined, marriages wrecked, and homes broken because of this dreadful CURSE!
What can be done? What is the ONLY workable solution to this worldwide problem?


ALCOHOLISM is the FOURTH-ranking public health problem in the world — and in the United States! In the U.S., only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths.

Today there are twenty-five million alcoholics scattered through all nations — including over six MILLION within the United States. Three million others are classified as "pre-alcoholics"! A quarter million new alcoholics join those ranks every year.


Shocking Figures Tell

In France, the nation with the world's heaviest drinkers, alcoholism is the worst health problem. More than 1.6 million Frenchmen and 400,000 women are alcoholics. France has the dubious distinction of having the world's highest death rate from cirrhosis of the liver — 32.8 per 100,000.

In 1958, official reports show 15,843 Frenchmen died from the effects of excessive alcohol — a whopping 10 deaths per 100,000 population! In any French town, alcoholics can be seen huddled together in miserable, pathetic groups around the market places. Alcoholics cost the French government well over one billion dollars a year — as much as' it cost to fight the Algerian War! So reported the New York Times.

Germany also has its alcoholic problem. West Germany's alcoholic army numbers an estimated 600,000, thirty percent of whom are women. In the European population of South Africa, roughly one person out of thirty — counting men, women, and children — is an ALCOHOLIC! The growing army of alcoholics numbers 370,000 strong. Great Britain also is plagued by the alcoholic curse, with over 500,000 victims of drunkenness. Even in India, where prohibition was attempted, the plan to halt the march of alcoholism ended in failure! In Canada, nearly 300,000 are classified as alcoholics. An alarming SIX PERCENT of all drinkers in Australia are alcoholics.

The average Russian spends $100 a year on vodka. Authorities are waging a hard-fought war on alcoholism.

The problem of alcoholism is a growing WORLDWIDE PLAGUE!

But why? WHY should alcoholism be a growing menace in our supposedly "enlightened" age?


Alcoholism and YOU

One out of every 36 Americans is a victim of alcoholism.

This deadly peril trails only cancer and heart disease in causing suffering and fatalities! Each year 350,000 individuals gasp out their last, agony-wracked breath because of alcoholism. Roughly 25 million people in the U.S. are directly affected by chronic alcoholism, including the families of alcoholics — one eighth of the population!

According to Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, a University of Illinois professor, another HALF MILLION VICTIMS are added every year to the rolls of weekend drunks in America! He confessed that this national problem is growing worse.

Alcoholism directly or indirectly affects your life! EVERY STRATUM OF SOCIETY in the United States is touched by this plague. No class is excepted — no group is spared. The amazing fact is that less than three percent of all confirmed alcoholics are the familiar Skid Row bums and gutter derelicts! The tentacles of alcoholism reach out to encompass businessmen, WIVES, and TEENAGERS! In every American town, on both sides of the tracks — in respectable neighborhoods and dingy slum districts — the rising tide of alcoholism sweeps over an ever-increasing number of helpless, dazed victims! Between 35-40 percent are women. Many are bored, depressed middle-class housewives.

Americans spend more than $12 billion a year on alcoholic beverages. About 20 million gallons are gulped down daily. Consumption of distilled spirits in 1967 was estimated at more than 325 million gallons.

Business drinking has become so prevalent in the United States that scientists have coined a new name for the business drinker —"the half man." He is the man who only operates at half-speed and has impaired effectiveness due to his morning hangover and four-martini lunch!

Industry loses from $2 to $3 billion a year due to alcoholism. It accounts for more absenteeism than either accidents, employee turnover, poor production or poor morale.

Every major city in the U.S. spends one million dollars yearly — or more — taking care of drunks and alcoholics. More than 2 million arrests in 1965 — ONE OUT OF THREE of those arrested for all causes — were arrested for public drunkenness. Jails are jammed, courts are clogged, and police forces are overburdened.

Arresting drunks is a revolving-door process. In 1964, in Los Angeles, some drunks were arrested as many as 18 times for drunkenness. Some inebriates have been arrested 100 to 200 times and have served 10-20 years in short-term jail sentences.

Heavy drinking also spurs crime. It is estimated that in the U. S. 25 to 50% of all arrested for felonies have a history of excessive drinking. Many involved in rapes and assaults have been drinking.


The Cost in Individual Lives

The financial burden itself is breathtaking. But even more appalling is the tragic cost of drunkenness in the lives of those people affected. Misery, frustration, failure, pain, suffering, and as is often the case — eventual DEATH!

According to authorities, the alcoholic goes through four stages in traveling the bottle-cluttered road of out-and-out alcoholism. The first stage, according to Dr. Rappeport, is acute inebriation which he defines as "simple drunkenness seen in the excessive party drinker or spree drinker." This individual is characterized by a flushed face, rapid pulse, slow breathing, slurred speech, red eyes, and unsteady equilibrium.

The second stage is acute tremulousness — or the "shakes" caused by steady drinking for different periods and poor eating habits. The third stage is acute alcoholic hallucinosis which comes after prolonged excessive intake of alcohol. The victim hears voices and often thinks somebody is trying to kill or harm him.

Finally, the fourth stage — delirium tremens — comes. Following a long history of constant alcoholic consumption, the alcoholic becomes "terrified, irritable, and confused." He doesn't know what time it is, where he is. He cannot rest or sleep. He runs a fever and may have convulsions!

Once an individual is caught in the grip of alcoholism, he goes down fast. When he reaches the stage of constant drunkenness, he cannot hold a job. He becomes penniless — a shabby, tattered bum — a gaunt wreck of a man. These poor wretches, totally down and out, often cannot afford to buy "respectable liquor."

Consequently, they turn to poisonous chemical mixtures called by such names as: Green river — called this because it turns the lips green. It is a mixture of after-shave lotion fortified with paint thinner; Block and tackle — a potent mixture of paint thinner with denatured alcohol and canned heat; Pink lady — canned heat "cut" with water; Sneaky pete — the same as "pink lady" only adding benzedrine or alcohol; Rubby dub — this is the Skid Row name for rubbing alcohol; Kerosene and buttermilk. Only a few of the desperate down-and-outers dare tackle this concoction. It almost completely wipes out the mind of its victim!


Why Alcoholism?

What is the cause of alcoholism? Why do MILLIONS wallow in drunkenness? WHY do businessmen, wives, teenagers, young and old, rich and poor, educated and ignorant alike become the cringing slaves of alcoholism?

Some people have thought that alcoholism is like any other disease. Such is NOT the case! A professor at Northwestern, Jules H. Masserman, declared, "In some 30 years of intensive interest, laboratory experiments, and clinical experience in the field," he did not find "convincingly controlled evidence" which showed any "consistent physiological causes of alcoholism."

Addiction to drink may better be compared to the disease of gambling!

Is alcohol itself the cause? Many people think so, and consequently many so-called "temperance" organizations (they really believe in abstinence, not temperance) stump the land preaching the evils of "demon rum" and strong drink. But alcohol itself is NOT the cause!

An expert on alcoholism, A. J. Mac-Lachlan, chaplain of a mental hospital, stated forcefully, "It is now fashionable to think of his [the alcoholic's) difficulty primarily as a medical problem, when in reality it is predominantly a MORAL AND SPIRITUAL PROBLEM."

Let's understand why!Moral and Spiritual Problem At the bottom of the alcoholic abyss lies the root cause of the problem — MORAL AND SPIRITUAL DECAY! Alcoholism is NOT fundamentally a physiological disease which preys upon men. Nor is it due to merely drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcoholism is due to a spiritual disease — a disease of CHARACTER!

In an article entitled "Let's Stop Coddling Our Alcoholics," MacLachlan explains: "Unfortunately the disease approach has become a BOOMERANG, producing physiological side effects that were not anticipated. The alcoholic finds it an easy way out. If a mysterious invader — a kind- of alcoholic virus — can be blamed for his condition, who can hold him morally responsible?" He continues, "As a consequence, many alcoholics adopt an attitude that is passive, defeatist and uncooperative. They say to the therapist, 'Here I am, Doctor. I'm your problem. Give me the pill that will cure me'" (Maclean's magazine).

"Characteristically," reports Dr. James Roeder Bell, M.D., "the alcoholic does not want help — he wants alcohol. And, like all who find their environment cruel, he is so much occupied with himself that he cannot consider others. He is unable to respond to ideas such as how much disturbance he is creating, how much time he is consuming, how unattractive he is, and how many billions of dollars are BEING WASTED in the almost futile effort to do something for him" (New Medical Materia).

Notice! The alcoholic "does NOT WANT HELP — HE CRAVES ALCOHOL"!

His attitude is passive, defeatist, uncooperative! In other words, he does not care about his condition, what other people think of him, or how much money society throws away on him! All he cares about is himself. He is selfish!

In the vast majority of cases, the alcoholic does not want help and is not willing to help himself. He is too fond of his stuporous condition to be conscious of the brutal facts of reality.

There, if you see it, is one of the reasons millions have become ALCOHOLICS — and millions more turn to drunkenness! Overindulgence in alcoholic beverages becomes a substitute for LIFE ITSELF! Drunkenness produces a dream land euphoria, a great intoxicated calm, an unconcern for reality!