[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 18, 1932


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1932;98(25):2175-2184. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730510001001

The pursuit of intoxication, the search for a means of invoking a condition of unimagined bliss, though it be but a bitter self-deception, a paltry fool's paradise, is a goal which even the most primitive peoples have sought and found. At all times and in all places, in the days of Homer, under the tropical sun and in the regions of eternal snow alike, mankind has found methods of attaining this "holy," god-given madness. So long as narcotics remained the secret of the priesthood, they were of little danger to mankind in general. In more modern times, the explanation and popularization of hitherto sacred usages, the expansion of science, the extension of our knowledge and experience and, above all, the enormous advances made in the last hundred and fifty years in the medical and natural sciences have brought about a change. A few of the milestones in the development of