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September 11, 1897

OPIUM HABIT IN CHILDREN.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(11):544-545. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440370038004

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Abstract

Among the most decidedly bizarre statements of the report of the British Opium Commission are those anent the harmlessness of the opium habit to Hindoo children. The evidence of the report as a whole would appear to a student of the law of evidence closely akin in nature to that whereby quackish procedures are "proven" to the satisfaction of promoters of patent medicine stock companies. The inveterate opium habitué is notoriously always under an opium dream as to the harmlessness or even benefit of his habit. Propaganda for spread of opium using is often a cult with habitués. From just such persons much of the testimony in favor of opium has clearly come. The evil effects of opium on children have been publicly recognized for nearly a century. Crabbe, in that series of sociologic and medical pictures, "The Borough," sang:

" Then the good nurse (who, had she borne a brain,

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