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Archive » 2010 » 3 » | Archive » Medical field » Fields » History of Medicine »

Alcoholism as a Social and Health Problem from Ancient Civilizations to the Present

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

Since times long past, alcohol has accompanied humankind, bringing both sunny and sha­dowy moments. The oldest and most celebrated form is wine, which throughout its legen­dary history has served as nourishment, medicine (anesthetic), preventive means (bactericide), and above all as a stimulant and an intoxicating beverage. It was, indeed, the latter that was advanced by the cultivation of wines and the maturing of wines in all cultures and civiliza­tions, thus leading at the same time also to the abuse of wine. Alcoholism was not, actually, treated as a disease from the very start. For a long time, excessive drinking was regarded more as a moral, religious or juridical problem. In this paper, a record is given of the anti-alcohol struggle in Carniola in the 19th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the movement was further joined by the Carniolan Doctors’ Association, and, together with Slovenian anti-al­cohol alliance, it continued to influence the regional government to adopt the appropriate legislation. In terms of per-capita consumption of alcohol, Slovenia ranks ingloriously close to the peak of the worldwide scale. This fact is also closely supported by statistics on the health, social, family, economic, legal and other consequences which are incurred by alcoholics them­selves. It is only through the enhancement of public awareness and education and through an appropriate public health policy that this menacing catastrophe can be forestalled.

Authors:
Zupanič - Slavec Zvonka

Keywords:
alcohol, alcoholism - history, fight against alcoholism, Carniola, 19th century, public health policy

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2010; 49: 325–32.

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