Alcohol is a strong poison and its use in any form is inimical to the human body, as indeed, it is to every organized thing in existence. It is a product of the decay of organic matter occasioned by bacterial action. Only a small percentage of it is required to arrest the action of the bacteria themselves. It is for this reason that it is employed as a preservative.

Whether ardent spirits, malt liquors, wines, cider or other alcoholic drinks are used, the alcohol they contain is poisonous. In small doses it acts as a "stimulant," in larger doses its effects are. those of a. depressant. It is highly irritating to every organ and tissue of the body and there is not one of them that is immune to its destructive influence. It coagulates the protoplasm of the cells of the body, just as it coagulates, or cooks, the, white of an egg. This coagulation impairs and destroys the cells.. , . . , .

The normal cells are then replaced by a substitute of connective tissue cells forming what is called "scar-tissue." This may occur in the, brain and spinal cord resulting in paresis; paralysis, insanity and other nervous "disease"; in the liver producing sclerosis and as-cites; in the heart and arteries producing hardening and other troubles in these; or it may occur in the lungs, kidneys, muscles or any other organ of the body. The functioning powers of these organs are gradually destroyed and the individual's resistance to other pathogenic influences is lowered. The death rate and case rate in pneumonia is much higher in alcohol addicts than among abstainers.

"Moderate" drinkers are not immune to these effects. They receive their full share of- them. In fact, the habitual "moderate" drinker receives more injury from alcohol than the occasional drinker who gets drunk when he does drink. It is used as a "stimulant" to digestion, but finally wrecks digestion.

Alcoholic drinks are very popular, although their evil effects are well known. Even the milder alcoholic . drinks are very damaging. The cry for light wines and beers was based on a delusion.

Laboratory experiments reveal, that beer containing only 2.75 per cent. of alcohol, will make the hand less steady, the control of voluntary muscles slower and less accurate, and increases the heart beat. The amount of loss in these laboratory tests varied directly with the amount of alcohol consumed. In the more complex processes (learning and adding), the loss lasted no more than three hours after the drinking. The losses in muscular power lasted much longer, even when small amounts of the beer were taken.

By actual measurements it has been definitely and scientifically established that a person who has had "one. or two little drinks" is from one-fifth to two-fifths of a second slower in reacting to a signal than when he or she is sober. Such a person is a definite menace to life when driving a car on the city's street or on the country highway. There is no means of knowing how many accidents are avoided only because the pedestrian or the other driver is sober and alert.

The. mildly intoxicated period following the use of alcohol, during which the drinker feels himself keener, wittier, more graceful, stronger and able to think faster, is a more or less transient, mild insanity. It decreases and does not increase' efficiency--mental or physical.

All of the latest tests with alcohol, even when given in small amounts, much less than is required to produce the slightest sensation of drunkenness, have demonstrated that a marked degree of lessened efficiency in every organ of the body follows. For from two to four hours after very moderate doses of alcohol, almost all who take it are affected with a general nervous and muscular disorganization. Sight and the movements of the hands are particularly affected. Eyes' and hands refuse to work together accurately. The eyes see objects where they are not and the hands get the message twisted.

Alcohol always produces these effects. It never produces the opposite effects. It never improves muscular and nervous coordination. There is, then, something more than just the danger of drunkennes's to be considered in the matter. Alcohol, in view of its invariably depressing effects, cannot be considered as ever beneficial.