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January 30, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(5):414. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940390038016

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Nalorphine (Nalline) precipitates symptoms of abstinence in persons addicted to morphine, methadone, and all related compounds and thus can be used as a means for rapidly diagnosing addiction to these drugs. Nalorphine will not precipitate symptoms of abstinence from meperidine (Demerol) unless the addict is taking 2,000 mg. or more daily. The use of nalorphine in diagnosing addiction to morphine and methadone is not an innocuous procedure, since too large a dose of nalorphine will produce symptoms severe enough to endanger the lives of persons strongly addicted to these drugs. The procedure is contraindicated in addicts suffering from any serious organic disease. It should never be carried out without full explanation to the patient, and written consent should always be obtained. Since a positive diagnosis of addiction may have serious legal implications, another physician should always be on hand to act as a witness.

The technique developed at the Addiction

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