This is part of an article from The American Magazine – Volume 62 – 1906
STRANGE CASE OF SOTS WHO FEAR BEING CURED.
The cure of the physical drinker is a fairly short and simple matter. The typical Bowery sot is incurable, because he is drunken deliberately and from choice. When delirium tremens is being treated in Bellevue by hypodermic injections, and the report spreads that "they're using the needle," the attendance of alcoholics falls off, because of a superstition that "the needle" kills the taste for liquor. But the physical drinker who really wants to be cured, can be cured by a few months of proper treatment, his nervous and mental condition being comparatively little deranged.
The nervous drinker is a much more refractory case. The man who drinks from depression or neurasthenia must go through a long and persistent campaign of steadying and stimulation, must "get his nerve back"; while the cure of true dipsomania, as of any other true insanity, requires infinite patience and perseverance. Epilepsy, a parallel disease, is now treated successfully by the methods here suggested for alcoholism, but
the epilept is not considered convalescent until after a year has passed without an attack, not cured until after two years, and not out of danger until after three. So with the alcoholic. While the steady drinker may often be cured in a few months, the periodic is never safe under a year, and any limit of treatment shorter than three years will not insure a maximum of cures.
But at present we have neither the sanitariums nor the laws for the cure of inebriety. The so-called "cures" do little good, and probably much harm. They cure a few patients, mainly physical drinkers who earnestly desire to break the habit, because they employ some of the helpful influences we have listed: restraint, wholesome life, change of scene. But the treatment is entirely too short' to cure the nervous or the more stubborn physical drinkers. In the great majority of patients the craving is not extinguished, and after a short period of sobriety they fall back helplessly into the habit. In addition, most of these "cures" use drugs, which either do no good or cure the patient of alcoholism by substituting another and more insidious drug habit. In many sanitariums, moreover, especially in nearly all state inebriate asylums, corrupt employes furnish the patients with liquor, thus putting full stop to the usefulness of those institutions.