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February 8, 1913


JAMA. 1913;60(6):431-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340060023010

Too little study, observation and effort to interpret physical manifestations have been given to those unfortunates suffering from narcotic addiction. We have neglected their disease in its origin and subsequent progress and have formed our conception of them from fully developed conditions and spectacular end-results. We have seen them during or after our fruitless efforts at treatment, their tortures and poor physical condition overcoming their resolutions, until they plead for and attempt to obtain more of their drug. We have seen them exhausted, starved, with locked-up elimination, toxic from self-made poisons of faulty metabolism, worn with the struggle of concealment and hopeless resistance, semi-irresponsible beings, at present or soon to be inmates of institutions affording custodial care.

Our literature pictures them as weak-minded deteriorated wretches, mental and moral derelicts, pandering to morbid sensuality; taking a drug to soothe them into dream states and give them languorous delight; held by us