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March 1, 1913

The Inadequacy of Bishop's Antitoxin Hypothesis to Explain Fully the Symptomatology in Morphin Addiction

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh, Pa.

JAMA. 1913;60(9):688. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340090050028

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To the Editor:  —Dr. Bishop in his article on narcotic addiction in The Journal (Feb. 8, 1913, p 431). does not, it seems to me, lay sufficient emphasis on the part played by the nervous system in the symptomatology of drug addiction. Whether or not we accept his hypothesis of antitoxin development in morphin users, it comes up to us in the end to deal with the addiction as manifesting itself in a disordered mental and nervous system. Therapeutically, we use narcotic drugs in order to produce some definite effect on or through the nervous system. In addiction the patient attempts to continue indefinitely a reaction which takes place physiologically in therapeusis.Thus the nervous system deprived of opportunity for normal functioning through the inhibiting influence of a drug necessarily becomes pathologic in its reactions. In the case of morphinism physiologic tolerance is quickly exceeded; toxic effects are noticed practically

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