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Hartselle Enquirer

A look back at alcoholism

As noted in a recent column, many of the “medicines” sold in drug stores contained liberal amounts of alcohol. Inevitably, some consumers developed an addiction to alcohol. The founding of AA was a long time in the future so those who had developed an unquenchable thirst for liquor and their loved ones had to depend on products and services they saw advertised in newspapers and magazines or heard about through word of mouth. Following are some of the most widely publicized cures (or penalties) for alcohol addiction. Some involved not merely purchasing a product but visiting a sanitarium or hospital devoted to rehabilitating alcoholics (or at least drying them out) or taking oaths not to drink:

Abstinence Pledges

Benner’s Whiskey Cure

Courtenay Baylor Treatment (pray, meditate, do good works)

Dr. Amos J. Givens’ Sanitarium

Dr. Baker’s Blood Builder

Dr. Keeley’s Cure (Birmingham)

Dr. L. B. Tyson’s Vegetable Cure for Intemperance

Dr. Purdy’s Cure for Liquor Habits

Dyke’s Cure for All Forms of Insobriety

Emmanuel Movement (psychiatric treatment as a neurotic disorder)

Fraternal Temperance Society (“reforming men”)

Hagey Cure (hypodermic injected)

Hahnemann’s Whiskey Habit Cure

Home for the Fallen (care of inebriate men)

Howe’s Cure for the Liquor Habit

Hutton Dixon Cure

Inebri-Cure

Inebriate Asylum

Isaac Oppenheimer Institute for Treatment of Cases of Alcoholic Addiction

Leyfield (Hayden) Cure (hypodermic injected)

Martha Washington Home (inebriate women)

Matthew’s Temperance Remedy

Mighty Destroyer (reading)

Miles Tablets (“Drunkenness cured! One husband lost all desire for

whiskey; the sight or odor of whiskey now makes him deathly sick”)

Miscellaneous (strait jackets, incarceration in prisons, immersion

In cold water, humiliation)

Neurotic Cure Company (“drink habit cured”)

Orrine Cure of Alcoholic Habits

Peru Cin-Con Nerve Tonic

Pfiel’s Intemperance Antidote

Ribbon Reform Club (mutual encouragement of alcoholics)

Richard Peabody (patients followed detailed time plans)

Richard’s Teetotal Tonic

Russian Liquor Cure

Sober Houses (care of confirmed drunkards)

Soberup

Sterilization (state laws requiring sterilization of

alcoholics and drug addicts)

Stop Drinking German Liquor Cure (“You will have a desire for food

instead of rot gut”)

Syrup of Hyposphites

Tacquaru Specific Treatment

Towns Hospital for Drug and Alcoholic Addictions

Tri-Elixiria Home Remedy for Drunkenness

Tysiloids

United Order of Ex-Boozers (mutual encouragement)

Whitney’s Dry-Up

Willis’ Home Cure (“liquor drinkers cured easily, safely, at home, with

no loss of time–It makes men look like men, feel like men, act like men”

The irony regarding many of the supposed alcoholic medicinal “cures” was that they contained alcohol themselves and thus made consumers more rather than less dependent on alcohol to satisfy their cravings.

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