Domestic Encyclopædia (1802)/Intoxication
INTOXICATION is a term expressing that depravity of human nature, which requires no farther explanation, as it is but too often practised both by the vulgar, and those whose professions lead us to expect a very different conduct.
Having already exposed the moral turpitude of Drunkenness, under that article, we shall now point out a few of the consequences that necessarily result from the brutal indulgence in that odious vice.
The state of intoxication greatly resembles that of an incipient palsy or apoplexy. Inebriated persons stagger in all directions; they stammer; every thing appears double; their tongue is in a manner paralytic, and they are deprived of the faculty of speech. This imbecility extends to the mind, which is thus rendered totally incapable of reflection. As the brain is overcharged with blood, the vessels pressing on that part are very liable to burst, from the least accidental concussion; and the unfortunate victim of such folly may expire, while he remains insensible of his danger. Hence he ought to be conveyed into a cool rather than warm room, and placed between blankets, with his head considerably raised; but the legs should be in a pendent situaton, and the feet bathed in lukewarm water. Every tight ligature of the shirt, waistband, garter, &c. must be immediately relaxed, and diluent drinks, such as barley or rice-water, plentifully given, though in small portions. Next, a gentle emetic is to be introduced, and the throat stimulated with a feather dipped in oil: after vomiting, the patient generally falls into a profound sleep, from which he awakes weak, trembling, and affected with a violent heart-burn, and acidity of the stomach; especially if wine has been the favourite liquor. To remove the latter complaint, calcined magnesia may be taken with advantage, and afterwards moderate draughts of negus, or coffee. Plethoric individuals, however, will better consult their health, by drinking cold water only, which is one of the most salutary restoratives: and during the fit of intoxication, it will sometimes be necessary to open a vein; an expedient which may rescue such persons from the brink of destruction. But, if they have been inebriated by ardent liquors, so that a vapour or smoke proceeds from their mouths, equal quantities of milk and barley-water ought to be instantly poured in; or, where these liquids could not be easily procured, the fresh urine of a healthy subject has been found to afford an excellent substitute. Nor can there be any reasonable objection against this remedy, in cases of a desperate and degrading nature.
Instead of expatiating on the long train of miseries and painful disorders with which habitual intoxication is sooner or later attended, and of which we treat in the alphabetical order of human maladies, we shall conclude in the words of the philosophic Shakespeare, who very pertinently remarks, that "Drink provokes or stimulates the desire, but it takes away the performance."