[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 184.73.122.162. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
October 16, 1954

EXPERIENCE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF PATIENTS MEDICALLY ADDICTED TO NARCOTICS

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky.

From the Clinical Division, U. S. Public Health Service Hospital (Senior Assistant Surgeon).; Dr. Rayport is now at Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University.

JAMA. 1954;156(7):684-691. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950070012004
Abstract

While narcotic analgesics are of unquestioned value in the practice of medicine, the occurrence of narcotic addiction in the course of treatment for illness is acknowledgment of therapeutic failure. Indeed, prolonged, regular administration of narcotics by the physician to the point of addiction is a last resort in cases in which diagnostic procedures and specific methods of treatment have been exhausted, apparently without adequate effect, on a disease process associated with severe pain. The physician feels that to withhold narcotics from such patients would be unkind, sometimes humanely impossible. This is the basis for the belief, widely held by physicians and occasionally printed in textbooks,1 that medically addicted patients should not be withdrawn from narcotics so long as the underlying illness has not been corrected. Furthermore, it is felt that the withdrawal process itself is a form of stress to which the sick person should not be subjected. It

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×