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November 18, 1899

"Morphinism Among Physicians."

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(21):1304. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450730060022

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Hartford, Conn., Nov. 11, 1899.

To the Editor:  A paper read recently before the New York State Medical Association on "Morphinism Among Physicians" (see Journal, November 4, pp. 1165 and 1173), has created unusual interest, and brought me a very large correspondence relating to it. A number of critics have asserted, with hysterical dogmatism, that the statement that from 6 to 10 per cent. of all physicians used drugs and opium was gross exaggeration and untrue. An equal number of persons are confident that this is a minimum estimate, especially in certain sections of the country. In other localities it may seem unsupported by observation. In an eastern city of over five hundred physicians, over 20 per cent. used spirits and opium to excess, and yet a prominent physician in a newspaper interview asserted that not 2 per cent, were spirit or drug takers. While the study of 3244 physicians

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