Jacobsen Introduces a Drug for the Treatment of Alcoholism (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: Jacobsen and Hald accidentally discovered the alcohol deterrent properties of disulfiram (Antabuse) and recognized its value in the treatment of alcoholism.
Summary of Event
Alcoholic beverages have been used by humankind since the dawn of history. The drinking of beer, wine, and distilled liquors is an accepted custom in most societies. There is a paradox in this widespread use of alcohol. Families celebrate births and weddings with alcohol, yet many families are destroyed by it. “Demon rum” is condemned by many religious groups, yet, at the same time, wine is often used as a sacrament in religious ceremonies.
People drink alcohol for a number of reasons, but a portion of the alcohol-consuming population drink alcohol in such quantities or with such frequency that, sooner or later, they lose control over their lives—with destructive consequences. In the United States, alcoholism is a factor in 30 percent of all suicides, 55 percent of all automobile fatalities, 60 percent of all child abuse, and 85 percent of all home violence. Chronic consumption of alcohol causes organic disease of the liver, heart, and nervous system. Alcohol abuse is considered to be the number three killer of Americans, ranked behind heart disease and cancer. Alcohol is also an insidiously addictive drug. Years of moderate-to-heavy drinking are required before the addiction is manifested.
(The entire section is 2252 words.)
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