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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 12, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(18):2492. doi:10.1001/jama.290.18.2492

In the October number of the Journal of Pharmacy is an interesting article by Messrs. Eberle and Gordon of the committee appointed by the American Pharmaceutical Association to report on the acquirement of drug habits. They give the results of a statistical inquiry which has been instituted, but which is necessarily somewhat incomplete. There is more of interest in their general remarks on the subject, since they are based largely on personal knowledge.

The report shows that the opium habit is markedly increasing; the majority of the class known as habitual criminals are opium habitués. The reporters state that the drug habit has alarmingly increased in the Army and Navy and that opium smoking has been acquired by some of our soldiers in the East. In the Navy this method of taking the drug is less common, but the habit of opium eating has been acquired to some extent in the intercourse with natives of foreign countries. It is encouraging to note that not a single case of the drug habit coming from the prescribing of opium by medical officers could be recalled; opium and the allied drugs are very guardedly and carefully used by the Army and Navy medical officers. An unfortunate percentage of the members of the hospital corps have drifted into the habit from the constant opportunity in handling the drug.

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