Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To review the glossary of psychoanalytic concepts…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Prior to searching for a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review PEP Consolidated Psychoanalytic Glossary edited by Levinson. You can access it directly by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Radó, S. (1928). The Psychical Effects of Intoxication:—Attempt at a Psycho-Analytical Theory of Drug-Addiction. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:301-317.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:301-317

The Psychical Effects of Intoxication:—Attempt at a Psycho-Analytical Theory of Drug-Addiction

Sándor Radó

Intoxicants are substances of the most varied origin and of a chemical character (alkaloids, substances of the alcohol group, etc.) which, if absorbed occasionally or habitually, produce effects of a narcotic, stimulating and intoxicating nature in mental life. Pharmacology has more or less throughly investigated the influence of these substances on our somatic and psychical organic functions, so that we know their specific effects according to the use made of them and the amount of the dose. This information, however, only holds good as an average (statistical) computation; it cannot be said with certainty beforehand how a particular person in a particular case will react to the absorption of a poisonous substance. Pharmacology takes this state of affairs into account by assuming a 'constitutional factor'; according to Lewin each individual has his own 'toxic equation', the composition of which, however, is completely unknown, nor does it admit of further investigation by the pharmacologist.

Daily experience shews us how great is this uncertainty just in the matter of the specific effects of intoxicants. Many people are reduced to a state of intoxication by quite a small amount of alcohol; others will drink a lot and actually succumb to the physical effects of intoxication, and yet remain sober. Indeed the behaviour of one and the same person can in the course of time alter fundamentally in this respect without our knowing why. One observes similar phenomena when administering morphine and other narcotic medicines. It is the view of psychiatrists that this unknown factor—the individual predisposition or tendency to intoxication—plays the decisive part in the ætiology of drug-taking and kindred states.

Let us try to penetrate this obscure territory from the point of view of psycho-analysis. Pharmacology classifies the various effects of intoxication from its own standpoint.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.