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June 22, 1901


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(25):1776-1778. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470250030002e

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Some forty years ago, when Dr. George B. Wood's famous work on therapeutics appeared, he wrote concerning morphinism as follows: "It will not answer to break off suddenly. No fortitude is sufficient to support the consequent misery, and life might be sacrificed in the effort. Of the particular phenomena which might result I have no experience; for I have met with no case in which the attempt has been made, or at any rate more than momentarily persevered in." This doubtless was the consensus of professional opinion at that time, and probably it remains substantially the same to-day. From past instruction reinforced by a limited observation, it had seemed to me doubtful whether such a habit was ever thrown off by a patient, unaided, under any circumstances. How rarely a confirmed "morphin fiend" is cured by the most careful treatment, even in retreats, is well known to every practitioner. A

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