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July 24, 1937

The Morphine Habit and Its Painless Treatment

JAMA. 1937;109(4):302. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780300058029

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The author has developed a method for the treatment of morphine and heroin addiction which in suitable cases, he believes, is so free from the distressing withdrawal symptoms that he speaks of it as "the painless treatment." He considers the word "habit" misleading as applied to morphinism. "A bad habit implies voluntary continuance in some asocial or antisocial practice, whereas the dependence of morphinism is as involuntary and relentless as thirst in the desert. It is unusual to meet the addict, however inveterate, whose dearest wish is not the desire to be cured." In established addiction the stimulating effect of morphine is more pronounced than the narcotic. There is a "kick" in each injection which rallies the addict's diminishing powers of mental application and enables him to work at increased pressure without fatigue. If the pulse is taken before and after a dose, its perceptible slowing and strengthening is invariable.

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