Chapter XVIII. Special Remedies for Dipsomania.
There are many victims of the "Drink Habit" who can often be helped by proper medical treatment. Frequently a physician is called upon to prescribe for a man who has been on a "spree" and wants to get sobered up and be a man once more. Others want help to get rid of the habit. A physician can be of great assistance in such cases with the indicated remedy.
The first thing to do is to get your patient "sobered up"; get the liquor out of him and clear out the brain. Fortunately we have a remedy that can be depended upon to meet just such cases. It is a decoction of apocynum canabium, prepared by Boericke & Tafel, of Philadelphia. Give your patient a teaspoonful of this preparation in a glass of water; have him drink it all. Then put three teaspoonfuls of the decoction into a glass of water and direct that two teaspoonfuls of this mixture shall be taken every half hour. This treatment may be kept for six to twelve hours, cutting down the allowance of liquor. It will sober a drunk the quickest of any known remedy.
Under some kinds of treatment it takes weeks and months to get over a spree, but with the use of this remedy they are brought round in a few days. It stops the craving for the regular drink. To follow up the treatment give one teaspoonful of the decoction in a glass of water three or four times a day until no desire for liquor remains. The continued use of liquor, especially whiskey, weakens the stomach and creates the "morning vomiting" of drunkards. The nerve power of these victims of liquor is low; the vitality is weak. They are simply wrecks cast upon the shores of time. The hypophosphite strychnine, 1/184 grain, given in doses of two granules every three hours, will help the vomiting and strengthen the nerves.
Many a man may be saved if when he feels the "restlessness and longing" for a drink to brace him up, you could give him a hypodermic injection of nitrate strychnine one-thirtieth grain once or twice a day. It helps to tide him over, calms and strengthens his nerves and saves him from going on a spree. These men should have our sympathy; if any persons on earth need our help as physicians it is these same victims of alcohol.