Full text: The alcohol problem

alcohol for is not because they like the taste of it, nor 
because they are thirsty, but because it makes them 
feel jolly. It raises their spirits. It gives them a good 
conceit of themselves.” Professor Starling,* in his 
more persuasive and illuminating comments, points 
out that alcohol in small doses diminishes the control 
of the nervous system, and thereby lessens the shackles 
of self-interest and self-criticism. The individual 
feels himself more kin with his fellow-men . . . more 
susceptible to the operation of the spirit of charity. 
. .. The shy worker may be emboldened to un- 
burden himself and to interest others in his work. . . . 
A certain degree of self-satisfaction is a necessary 
element for successful activity, and a life that is not a 
joyous one can never attain its full powers of accom- 
plishment. So far as the moderate use of alcoholic 
drinks serves to further either of these ends it must 
be regarded as a distinct advantage to the community 
as a whole.” Again, Starling points out that the work 
of the community is carried out almost entirely by men 
with whom the moderate use of alcohol is habitual. f 
« The use of alcoholic drinks among such men is 
an addition to the amenities of existence and as a 
means of increasing the pleasure, joy, and profit in 
life. It is probable that in these cases the use of 
alcohol has a real physiological value, in relieving the 
strain on the human machine, in promoting a forget- 
fulness of the cares of the day’s work, and in assisting 
repose and the reintegration of the forces of the body.” 
On the other hand, every man must realise that 
though the great majority of his fellows observe strict 
* E. H. Starling, © The Action of Alcohol on Man,” 1923, p. 154. 
+ Loc. cit., p. 156.

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