Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body and Mind, with an Account of the Means of Preventing, and of the Remedies for Curing Them
By: Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813)
Written when the United States extended only to the Mississippi River, by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, this short work explores the physical, social, and mental effects of distilled liquors; the classes of people prone to intoxication by them; suggested drinks to use instead of them; and remedies for intoxication and for their habitual use. He takes a medical view of alcoholism, exploring the physical causes rather than blaming moral failure as the cause. Alcoholic drinks that are not distilled are viewed as wholesome drinks, and opium is suggested for pain as being without bad effects or addictive qualities.