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List of Alcohol & Drug Related Diseases

The condition of being poisoned by the excessive use of absinth. [Webster1913]
Absinthe: Bitter liquor made from the leaves of wormwood infused in brandy, or from alcohol mixed with volatile oil of wormwood, and other less active ingredients, especially oil of anise. It produces in overdose Absinthism, a series of phenomena of poisoning somewhat different from those of alcoholism, consisting of hallucinations, peculiar contractions of the muscles of the lips and face, trembling in the limbs, numbness, physical prostration, emaciation, giddiness, headache, delirium, dementia, and paralysis, frequently resulting in death. [Dunglison1874]

Absinthe: A perennial aromatic European herb (Artemisia absinthium), naturalized in eastern North America and having pinnatifid, silvery silky leaves and numerous nodding flower heads. Also called common wormwood. [Heritage]

Acne Rosacea
A chronic inflammation of the face and nose, generally due to the free use of alcoholic stimulants. Called also gutta rosacea, brandy nose, rosy drop, and brandy face. [American Illustrated Medical Dictionary 1915].

A chronic form of acne affecting the nose, forehead, and cheeks, characterized by red pustular lesions. [].

Also called: acne rosacea. A chronic inflammatory disease causing the skin of the face to become abnormally flushed and sometimes pustular. [Collins English Dictionary].

Alcoholia Disease produced by the poison Alcohol. [House of Commons papers, Volume 19, By Great Britain. Parliament, 1842].
Alcoholism A diseased condition of the system, brought about by the continued use of alcoholic liquors. [Webster].

Example from a 1906 Death Certificate from Massachusetts:

Example from a 1915 Death Certificate from Massachusetts:

Example from a 1922 Death Certificate from Georgia:

Alcoholophilia An overpowering desire for intoxicating liquids. The mental habit which grows out of the abuse of alcohol. [Tuke1892]
Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms: Intoxication, and, when taken freely, complete insensibility, with apoplexy or paralysis of one side; the countenance swollen and of a dark-red color; the breathing difficult, and often stertorous, with a peculiar puffing out of the lips; the breath smells of liquor, which will distinguish the symptoms from those of spontaneous apoplexy. [Dunglison1874].

Example from a 1921 Death Certificate from Illinois:


An old term for morbid intemperance or lust. [Tuke1892]



Army Disease

see Soldier's Disease.

Barrel Fever
He died of barrel fever; he killed himself by drinking. [Grose1823].

A violent sickness occasioned by intemperance. [Orchard1861].

(Common), the sickness caused by intoxication, sometimes called the bottle ache, the quart mania, and the gallon distemper, all possible precursors of delirium tremens. [Godfrey1889]

Blue Devils
Low Spirits. [Grose1823].

Blue devils and red monkeys are said by the experienced to be the characteristic apparitions which haunt drunkards. [Leland1889].

Apparitions supposed to be seen by persons suffering with delirium tremens; hence, very low spirits. [Webster].

Blue Johnnies Delirium Tremens in Australia. [Farmer1905].
Bottlenose Gutta Rosacea. [Dunglison1868]
Brandy Face Hypertrophic Rosacea; Acne Rosacea
Brandy Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea; Acne Rosacea
Carbuncled Face Gutta Rosacea. [Dunglison1868]


A chronic disease of the liver characterized by the replacement of normal tissue with scar tissue and the loss of functional liver cells. It is most commonly caused by chronic alcohol abuse, but can also result from nutritional deprivation or infection, especially by the hepatitis virus. [American Heritage].

1840s, coined by Fr. physician René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec (1781-1826), from Gk. kirrhos "tawny," for the orange-yellow appearance of the diseased liver [American Heritage].

Example from a 1912 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Example from an 1886 death certificate from Illinois:

Copper Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea
Couperose The acne, or gutta rosacea, or carbuncled face; so named from the redness of the spots. [Noblyn1855]
Cræpale, Crapulence The headache, etc. that result from excessive eating or indulgence in alcoholic drink. [Appleton1904]

Sick from gross excess in drinking or eating. []

Delirium Alcoholia Delirium Tremens. [Appleton 1904].

Example from an 1899 Death Record from England:

Delirium E Potu A synonym of Delirium Tremens, from the cause of the affection. [Tuke1892] 

Example from an 1852 death certificate from England:

Delirium Tremens A barbarous expression, intended to convey the idea of delirium co-existing with a tremulous condition of the body or limbs. It has been called brain fever, a peculiar disorder of drunkards, delirium et mania e potu, delirium ebriositatis, etc. [Hoblyn1855]

A morbid condition which is due to excess in the use of alcoholic liquors, and is the expression of their cumulative action. It is characterized by delirium hallucinations, dread, tremors of the tendons and muscles of the hands and limbs and of the tongue, watchfulness, absence of sleep, and great frequency of pulse. The tongue is coated with a thick creamy fur, and the skin is clammy. The breadth is redolent of alcohol. The condition is often one of extreme danger, and may be fatal in itself, or lead to complications which prove fatal. [Appleton1904].

An acute, sometimes fatal episode of delirium usually caused by withdrawal or abstinence from alcohol following habitual excessive drinking. It also may occur during an episode of heavy alcohol consumption. [Heritage]

Example from an 1868 Church Record from Münster, Switzerland

Example from an 1870 death certificate from West Virginia

Dipsomania An insatiable craving for alcoholic beverages; Alcoholism. [Heritage]
DT’s Delirium Tremens
Drug Disease A morbid condition, which is - or presumed to be - caused or kept up by the administration of drugs. [Dunglison1874]
Drunkard's Anemia The peculiar condition of ill health caused by the abuse of alcohol. [Appleton1904]
Drunkard's Itch An intense itching, attended with a slight papular eruption, seen in old people addicted to excessive use of alcohol. [Appleton1904]
Drunkenness Alcoholism.

Example from an 1828 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Drunk Exposure

Exposure: The condition of being exposed, especially to severe weather or other forces of nature. [Heritage].

Example from an 1890 death record from Michigan:

Ebriety Intoxication, Drunkenness. [Webster].
Ebriosity Partial intoxication; habitual drinking to excess. [Webster].

Excessive Drinking


Example from a 1734 London, England Death Record:

Fatty Liver One affected with fatty infiltration, usually from alcohol abuse, jejunoileal bypass surgery, or occasionally diabetes mellitus; fat is in large droplets and the liver is enlarged but of normal consistency; patients are often asymptomatic but the condition can progress to hepatitis or cirrhosis if the underlying cause is not removed. [Dorland]
Fiery Snorter A red nose. [Farmer1921]
Gallon Distemper Delirium Tremens. [Farmer1905].
Gindrinker’s Liver Nutmeg Liver
Grain Alcohol - Methyl Salicylate Methyl Salicylate: A colorless, water-soluble liquid, C 8 H 8 O 3 , produced synthetically or by maceration and subsequent distillation from birch or gaultheria: used chiefly in perfumery and flavoring, and in medicine as a counterirritant in external preparations. Use methyl salicylate in a Sentence See images of methyl salicylate Search methyl salicylate on the Web Also called sweet birch oil, wintergreen oil. [].

Example from a 1921 death certificate from Illinois:

"Grain alcohol - methyl salicylate consumed in beverage"

Grog Blossoms A vulgar term for a lesion of rosacea. [Appleton1904]
Gutta Rosacea Hypertrophic Rosacea
Hammer Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea

Hardening of Liver


Example from an 1885 Death Record from Michigan:

Hobnail Liver Cirrhosis of the liver. Nutmeg liver. [Dunglison1874]
The Horrors A popular term for delirium tremens, in reference to the sensations of terror and excitement which are symptomatic of the disease. [Tuke1892]
Hypertrophic Rosacea Enlargement of the nose with dilation of follicles and redness and prominent vascularity of the skin; often associated with excessive consumption of alcohol. [Wordnet]

Synonyms: Acne Rosacea; Bottlenose; Brandy Face; Brandy Nose; Carbuncled Face; Copper Nose; Couperose; Grog Blossoms; Gutta Rosacea; Hammer Nose; Potato Nose; Rosy Drop; Rum Nose; Rum-Blossom; Toper's Nose.

Inebriation Drunkenness. [Appleton1904].

The condition of being intoxicated, as with alcohol. [Stedman]

Inebriety A form described by Crothers as suddenly attacking persons who have not before been given to drink; occasioned either by hereditary or wasting diseases or mental shock; a forerunner of progressive paralysis or simple dementia. [[Appleton1904].
Intemperance Immoderate use of food and drink, especially the latter; a fruitful source of disease. [Dunglison1868].

Example from an 1869 death record from Michigan:

Example from an 1825 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Intoxication The pathological state produced by a drug, serum, alcohol, or any toxic substance; poisoning. [Stedman]

Example from an 1907 funeral home record from California:

Jug Bitten Drunk. [Farmer1905].
Laudanum A tincture of opium or any preparation in which opium is the main ingredient. [Wordnet]

Example from an 1856 death certificate from West Virginia:

Liver Cirrhosis A chronic disease of the liver characterized by the replacement of normal tissue with fibrous tissue and the loss of functional liver cells. It can result from alcohol abuse, nutritional deprivation, or infection especially by the hepatitis virus. [Heritage]
Mania a Potu Insanity resulting from excessive indulgence in drinking. [Thomas1875]

Delirium Tremens. [Dunglison 1903].

Madness from drinking; delirium tremens. [Webster].

Example from an 1826 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Mania Potatorum Delirium Tremens. [Dunglison 1903].
Moonshine Smuggled or illicitly distilled liquor, especially corn liquor as illicitly distilled chiefly in rural areas of the southern U.S. [Random House].

Example from a 1921 death certificate from Illinois:

"From carbon monoxide due largely to an over indulgence in moonshine"

Morphia Morphine
Morphinia Disease produced by the poison Morphine (Opium). [House of Commons papers, Volume 19, By Great Britain. Parliament, 1842].

Any disease due to the excessive use of morphine. [Gould1916]

Morphine, Overdose A bitter crystalline alkaloid extracted from opium, the soluble salts of which are used in medicine as an analgesic, a light anesthetic, or a sedative. Also called morphia. [Heritage]

Example from an 1871 death record from Michigan:

Morphine A bitter crystalline alkaloid extracted from opium, the soluble salts of which are used in medicine as an analgesic, a light anesthetic, or a sedative. Also called morphia. [Heritage]
Morphinomania The morbid uncontrollable desire for morphia. The morphia habit. [Tuke1892].

The morphia habit. The uncontrollable desire for morphia engendered by the habit of constantly using the drug, by the mouth or subcutaneously, for the relief of some real or imaginary ailmant. [Hoblyn1900].

Narcosis A condition of insensibility produced by the action of certain drugs, poisons, and retained excretory products on the nervous system. [Tuke1892]

A condition of deep stupor or unconsciousness produced by a drug or other chemical substance.  [Heritage].

Narcotics An addictive drug, such as opium, that reduces pain, alters mood and behavior, and usually induces sleep or stupor. Natural and synthetic narcotics are used in medicine to control pain. [Heritage]
Narcotism A state of unnatural sleep, induced by the effect of narcotic substances. [Hoblyn1855]
Nutmeg Liver An appearance of the liver when cut across, resembling that of a section of a nutmeg, supposed by some to be the result of intemperance in the use of alcoholic drinks; but occurring under other causes. Also; whiskey liver and gindrinker's liver. [Dunglison1874]


A term meaning a morbid craving for wine, and also madness produced by drink. It is used especially for that form of drunkenness in which there are long intervals of sobriety between isolated drinking bouts. [Tuke1892]

A form of insanity associated with and excited by alcoholism. [Appleton1904].

Delirium tremens. [Webster].


A lover of opium. There is an opiophil club in Paris. Akin to morphinomania. [Tuke1892]

Opium A highly addictive drug that consists of the dried milky juice from the seed capsules of the opium poppy obtained from incisions made in the unripe capsules of the plant, that has a brownish yellow color, a faint smell, and a bitter and acrid taste, that is a stimulant narcotic usually producing a feeling of well-being, hallucinations, and drowsiness terminating in coma or death if the dose is excessive, that was formerly used in medicine to soothe pain but is now often replaced by derivative alkaloids (as morphine or codeine) or synthetic substitutes, and that is smoked illicitly as an intoxicant with harmful effects. [Webster].

Example from an 1826 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Example from an 1885 death certificate from Illinois:

Overdose An excessive dose, especially of a narcotic. [Heritage]
Penny Pots Pimples on the face of a drunken person [Wright1857]
Philœnia Addiction to wine or drink. [Tuke1892]
Pink Spiders Delirium Tremens. [Farmer1905].
Potato Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea
Potomania An intense persistent desire to drink alcoholic beverages to excess; Alcoholism. [Heritage]
Rosy Drop Carbuncled face; the acne rosacea of Bateman. Shakespeare, describing the physiognomy of a hard drinker, tells us, that "his face is all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames of fire!" In Ireland these protuberances are called grog blossoms. [Hoblyn1855]

Acne Rosacea. [American Illustrated Medical Dictionary 1915].

Rum Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea
Rum-Blossom Hypertrophic Rosacea
Soldier's Disease The rate of opiate addiction greatly increased when the hypodermic syringe was introduced in the 1850s. Hypodermic injections enabled precise doses of morphine to be given rapidly to lessen pain and to tranquilize, and this procedure was widely used during the Civil War to treat wounded soldiers. By war's end so many soldiers had become dependent on morphine that the condition came to be known as the "soldier's disease" or the "army disease". Although we know today that morphine and opium can produce addiction, many doctors for much of the nineteenth century were unaware of this as were many of their addicted patients, who thought having withdrawal symptoms was some kind of ailment rather than evidence of addiction. It was not until the 1870s, with so many Civil War addicts exhibiting symptoms, that addiction and tolerance to opiates became clinically accepted in the United States and Europe. (The Drug Problem: A New View Using the General Semantics Approach, by Martin H. Levinson, 2002)
Temulence Commonly used synonymously with drunkenness; and is often employed in the description of diseases to indicate a state resembling drunkenness. Mania e Temulentia is the same as Delirium Tremens. Apoplexia Temulentia is the same as Dead Drunkenness. [Dunglison1868].

A term generally used as synonymous with drunkenness. It is sometimes used to describe any state in disease resembling drunkenness. [Tuke1892]

Temulentia Temulence.

Example from an 1825 death certificate from Pennsylvania:

Torpedo Narcosis or numbness. [Tuke1892]
Toper One who topes, or drinks frequently or to excess; a drunkard; a sot. [Webster 1913].
Toper's Nose Hypertrophic Rosacea
Tromomania A synonym of Delirium Tremens. [Tuke1892]
Wet Brain Excessive serosity of the brain or its membranes, as observed in delirium tremens. [Dunglison1874]
Whiskey Liver Nutmeg Liver
Wine Madness Oinomania. [Appleton1904].