Following the ratification of the 18th Amendment, an intemperance movement was born. The Volstead Act had effectively turned every consumer, merchant and producer of alcohol into a criminal; organized crime took root. Without market and regulatory controls, alcohol became more dangerous to consume. The court system was brought to the brink of failure under the weight of criminal and civil cases related to prohibition. After a little more than a decade, public opinion had been turned and the effort to repeal prohibition emerged victorious with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
In the last sixty years, this anti-smoking movement has grown in influence and power much in the same way the temperance movement before it grew. We believe that it is well past time to initiate our own modern intemperance movement.
Doctor D. M. Reese, a respectable physician of New York, in work recently published, considers intemperance as prolific mother of human miseries, and is of opinion that if mankind were universally temperate in all respects, cassualty [sic] and old age would be the chief passports to the grave.- He notices several species of Intemperance: Intemperate Drinking, Intemperate Eating, Intemperate sleeping, Intemperance in clothing, Intemperate Labor, depraved Appetites, 'c.- Hamp. Gaz.
Drinking Ardent Spirits.- This is the worst kind of intemperance, and in criminality; the magnitudes of its evils, outweighs all the rest. Dr. R. proposes the following expedients for removing these evils:
2. The cost of the liquor is but a small part of the cost of intemperance. 'time,' as Dr. Franklin says, 'is money;' and who can doubt that the time which is spent by the intemperate over their cups, and in recovering from the stupor of intoxication, is worth many times more than the trifle which they pay for their dram. When it is remembered, that whiskey sufficient to prostrate an ordinary drunkard for six hours, can be purchased for six cents, it will not be thought extravagant, if we estimate the time killed by 56,000,000 gallons of spirit at as many millions of dollars. If we suppose that only one-half of the quantity is consumed by drunkards, and that one pint of spirit destroys only six hours of the drunkard's time, the value of the time destroyed, reckoning it only at four cents and hour, would be 53,760,000 dollars.
The Executive Committee of the American Temperance Society, after giving from official documents the number and cost of paupers in the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the States of Massachusetts and New -York, estimate the whole number of paupers in the United States at 200,000, and the cost of their support at 10,000,000 dollars. Of this sum, 7,500,000 must be set down to the score of intemperance.
The number of persons committed to the City Prison and Bridgewell in New York, for various crimes and misdemeanors, from the 1st of January, 1822 to the 20th of November 1826, was 11,535, equal to nearly 2400 annually, or about one every sixty-three of the population. In Philadelphia, the number of persons in the Mayors Court, arrested for various offences [sic], between 1813 and 1823, was on an average 1653 annually, or one in sixty-four of the population. A writer in the North American Review, computes the number of persons in Boston who live by vice and crime, at 2,000, which is equal to one in thirty of the population. From these facts, we think it safe to infer that, in the whole United States, at least 60,000 persons, (which is only one in two hundred of the population,) are either tenants of our prisons, or live by vice and crime. The expense of watching the movements of this army of criminals, of seizing and trying them, of maintaining them in prison; and the losses which the community sustain by their thefts, burglaries, arsons, frauds, murders, 'c. are unknown, but must be immense; and three fourths of the whole must be set down to the account of intemperance.
The number of drunkards in the United States, i.e. of those who are frequently intemperate, and either habitually or occasionally drunk, has been variously estimated from 500,000 down to 300,000. It seems to be generally admitted, that the habitual drunkards are at least one in every hundred of the population, or 120,000 in all. If we take into view only the habitual drunkards, and consider that each of them on an average has eight relatives as near as father, mother, wife, child, sister, or brother, we shall perceive that intemperance dooms nearly One Millon persons to the disgrace and suffering necessarily connected with a relationship so intimate.
age, who died in 1826, was 94; and, of this number, more than one-third, according to a published statement of the Medical Association of that city, were intemperate;* and, 'on referring further back,' they say, 'we find a similar proportion for the two years preceding.' If this proportion is found in New-Haven, a city certainly as highly distinguished for morality as any in the United States, we have no reason to believe that it is less in the country at large. The whole number of persons in the United States, at the present time, of adult age, is about 6,000,000; of this number, if nothing is done to check the progress of intemperance, 2,000,000 will probably die intemperate.
In Portsmouth, N. H. which had at the last census 7,327 inhabitants, 21 persons, or three for every thousand, dies by excess in drinking, according to the bill of mortality of 1826. At this rate, the number in the whole United States would be 36,000 per annum. A distinguished physician of Philadelphia, after commenting upon the bill of mortality of that city for the year 1826, estimates the number of deaths by intemperance at 335, which is nearly three in every thousand of the population.+ The estimate, of thirty thousand lives annually destroyed in the whole country by intemperance, he fears, if the truth were fully know, would be found too small. In New-Haven, Conn. which had at the last census 8,327 inhabitants, the number of persons whose deaths were caused or hastened, directly of indirectly, by intemperance in 1826, according to the statement of the Medical Association, was, as we have already intimated, at least 31, or four for every thousand. At this rate, the number in the whole United States would be forth-eight thousand per annum! and this statement, let it be remembered, is founded on the private record of the physicians, and is therefore worthy of entire confidence, and might with more propriety be adopted as the basis of calculation for the whole country than any statements or estimates derived from bills of mortality.
If we suppose this period to be on an average ten years, we cannot estimate these profits at less than 30,000,000 dollars; for, let it be remembered, with a trifling exception, the whole 30,000 would be in the prime of life, there being few deaths by intemperance among those who are under twenty or over sixty years of age. We are certainly within bounds when we say, that a temperate person, in the prime of life, earns on an average, every year, one hundred dollars more than is necessary for his individual support. How else, indeed, could men support their families?- and yet, at this low rate, each of these 30,000 persons, if he had been temperate, and had lived ten years longer, would, besides supporting himself, have earned one thousand dollars which would have been expended in increasing the comforts of his children or others dependent upon him. By intemperance, all this (amounting for the 30,000, to 30,000,000 dollars) is lost.
9. In addition, to the losses above enumerated, there are many others, which, although amounting to an immense sum in the aggregate, do not admit of estimate; such are the loss of vessels and cargoes by the intemperance of seamen; the loss of life and property by fires, accidents, and casualties of various kinds, originating in the carelessness of the intemperate; the mischiefs arising from the mismanagement of business by intemperate agents, 'c. 'c, 'c.
+ It is evident from remarks of this physician, that bills of mortality afford a very imperfect account of the number of deaths by intemperance. In many instances, he says, to avoid wounding the feelings of surviving relatives, the death of a drunkard is reported under the head of inflammation of the brain, insanity, 'c. and he thinks that one-half of the adults reported under the heads 'apoplexy, Casualties, Dropsy, Drowned, Found Dead, Palsy, and Sudden,' are justly referable to ardent spirits.
early 15c., "lack of restraint, excess," also of weather, "inclemency, severity," from Old French intemperance (14c.) and directly from Latin intemperantia "intemperateness, immoderation, excess" (as in intemperantia vini "immoderate use of wine"), from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + temperantia "moderation, sobriety, discretion, self-control," from temperans, present participle of temperare "to moderate" (see temper (v.)).
Ten years after a health screening examination was offered to 50 year old men 32 of the 2322 participants and 12 of the 454 nonparticipants had died of ischaemic heart disease. Of these, 26 and 11 respectively had suffered sudden death, for which necropsy was performed. Half of the men who had died suddenly had been registered for alcohol intemperance up to 1973, which was four times the prevalence of such registrations in the general population. Registration at both the Swedish Temperance Board and the Bureau of Social Services was associated with an odds ratio of 3.74 for sudden death as compared with not being registered at either. Logistic analysis including the classical risk factors for ischaemic heart disease together with registration for alcohol intemperance and at the Bureau of Social Services showed only the two types of registration and systolic blood pressure to be independent risk factors. On the other hand, there was no overrepresentation of subjects entered in the registers among those surviving a myocardial infarction. For non-fatal myocardial infarction blood pressure and serum triglyceride concentration were significant risk factors and serum cholesterol concentration, smoking, and body mass index probable risk factors; the two types of registration were not independent risk factors. Alcohol intemperance is strongly associated with an increased risk of sudden death after myocardial infarction. 041b061a72