This section is from the book "The Hygienic System: Fasting And Sun Bathing", by Herbert M. Shelton. Also available from Amazon: The Hygienic System Vol III Fasting and Sun Bathing.
It seems necessary to point out that any return to the prior mode of living, after the fast, will reproduce a state of enervation and toxemia, thus giving rise to more suffering, which may tempt the "relief" seeker to again resort to the old "relief" measure. If he does this, he may again find himself in the grip of addiction. Only by first-class habits of living can any man guarantee himself against evils of all kinds. The eating habits of the former addict are of special importance.
The medical profession now says that drunkenness is a disease. They have not considered it so for any great length of time. On the other hand, the fact that it is a disease has long been recognized in Hygienic circles. I take the following statement from A History of the Vegetarian Movement by Charles W. Forward, published in London in 1878: "A remarkable instance of success in the treatment of intemperance by means of a vegetarian diet was that of Dr. James C. Jackson, of Dansville, N. Y. Writing in "The Laws of Life," Dr. Jackson stated that "it is now twenty-five years since I took the position that drunkenness is a disease arising out of waste of the nerve tissue, oftentimes finding the center of its expression in the solar plexus or network of nerves that lies behind the stomach, and reflecting itself to the brain and spinal column by means of the great sympathetic. Since that time there have been under my care not less than a hundred habitual drunkards, some of them with such a desire for liquor that if they could get it they would keep drunk all the time; others having periodic turns of drunkenness, during the paroxysms of which they would remain drunk for a week or a fortnight at a time. Everyone of these persons was so far gone as to have lost all self-respect, character, and position, and many of them fine estates. In only two instances have I failed to give back good health and sobriety where these individuals have been under my personal management and direction; and of all the agencies that have been brought to bear upon them, save the psychological, none have proved themselves so effective as those of diet and bathing. It is morally and physically impossible for any man to remain a drunkard who can be induced to forego the use of tobacco, tea, coffee, spicy condiments, common salt, flesh meats, and medicinal drugs. If his diet consists of grains, fruits and vegetables, simply cooked, and he keeps his skin clean, he cannot, for any length of time, retain an appetite for strong drink. The desire dies out of him, and in its stead cooks up a disgust. This disgust is as decidedly moral as it is physical. His better nature revolts at the thought of drinking, and the power in him to resist is strengthened thereby. The proof of this can be seen at any time in our institution, where we have always persons under treatment for inebriety. The testimony is ample, is uniform, is incontrovertible." And further on, Dr. Jackson declared, 'I have found it impossible to cure drunkards while I allowed them the use of flesh-meats. I regard animal flesh as lying right across the way of restoration. Aside from its nutrition, it contains some element or substance which so excites the nervous system as in the long run to exhaust it, to wear out its tissues, and to render it incapable of normal action'."
Note that he taught that both flesh and alcohol and other "stimulants" produce enervation--"waste of nervous tissue". Enervation is the basic fact in all addiction and to avoid re-cultivation of a drug addiction, it is essential that the individual so live that he does not enervate himself. While Dr. Jackson, in the foregoing, emphasizes addiction to alcohol, what he says is applicable to any drug addiction. It should also be stated that flesh eating is far from being the only, or the greatest enervating factor in the lives of our people. All sources of enervation should be studiously avoided. A well-nourished body, the energies of which are conserved by first-class habits, will not feel the "need" for stimulants and will not "need" to be "relieved" of discomforts and pains.