Jubilee of the Society for the Study of Inebriety


    THE fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Society for the Study of Inebriety and Drug Addiction, and the centenary of the birth of its founder, Dr. Norman Kerr, who died in 1899, were celebrated on April 10 by a luncheon held at the Langham Hotel, at which the Minister of Health, Lord D'Abernon, the Bishop of Norwich, Sir Thomas Barlow, the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons and of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Sir Josiah Stamp were the principal guests. The luncheon was followed by a commemoration address delivered by the president, Sir Humphry Rolleston, who gave a sketch of the life of the founder and the activities of the Society. Norman Kerr, who was the author of numerous works on various aspects of the alcohol problem, regarded inebriety as a disease essentially allied to insanity and insisted that it should be treated medically and not as if it were a crime. It was mainly due to him that the Habitual Drunkards Act of 1888 and the Inebriates Act of 1898 were amended. During the fifty years of its existence, the subjects discussed by the Society have included the influence of heredity on alcoholism, alcoholism and child welfare, alcoholism and venereal disease, the use of alcohol in medicine, drug addiction as an international problem, their drinking and the cigarette habit. The Society, which consists of medical members and lay associates, aims at a scientific study of alcoholism and drug addiction, and has not a policy of total abstinence.

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