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Article
July 26, 1884

"Opium Smoking as a Therapeutic Means."

JAMA. 1884;III(4):100-101. doi:10.1001/jama.1884.02390530016003

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Abstract

—There are two drugs comprised in our list of therapeutic agents which, however potent for good, are dangerous to human happiness by reason of the very properties which make them boons to mankind. These are opium and alcohol. Each is sure to bring mental, moral, and physical ruin upon its devotee. Each is capable of effecting as complete debasement as did the magic wand of Circe when it transformed Ulysses's companions into swine. The very insidiousness with which these drugs allure their victims increases their danger. Every practitioner of extended experience must be able to recall instances in which the physician's prescriptions proved the foundation of either one or the other fatal habit. We have in mind a young man of brilliant parts who attributed his incurable love of strong drink to the whisky and quinine ordered by the doctor as prophylaxis against malaria. Facts like this are too well

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