November 1960

The "Pharmacogenic Orgasm" in the Drug Addict

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky.
Formerly Surgeon (R), U.S. Public Health Service. Present address: 25 E. Washington St., Chicago 2.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(5):545-556. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710050095010

Frankie's whole body lifted with that smashing surge, the very heart seemed to lift up ... up ... up . . . then rolled over and he slipped into a long, warm bath with one long orgasmic sigh of relief. Algren (The Man with the Golden Arm).

Increasing study of the etiology of drug addiction has pointed more and more to a multidetermined origin with the weight of various etiological factors varying from case to case. This paper proposes not so much to study the etiology of drug addiction as to examine in more detail and focus more carefully on the specific experience reported by the addict, following the intravenous injection or intranasal sniffing of opiate drugs before he is physiologically dependent on the drug ("hooked").

The exaltation, euphoria, or "mania" aspect of this sensation has been known since ancient times and was described in famous detail by DeQuincey.10 Kolb,17 in

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