JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
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.
DRUG HABITS.. JAMA. 2003;290(18):2492. doi:10.1001/jama.290.18.2492