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November 22, 1965

Addicting and Nonaddicting Drugs

Author Affiliations

San Diego, Calif

JAMA. 1965;194(8):937. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090210101046

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To the Editor:—  The article "Pentozacine—A New Nonaddicting Analgesic," by Sadove and Balagot in the Sept 13 issue (193:887, 1965) yields another example of a pitfall regarding drugs which affect mood or relieve pain, as related to the phenomena of addiction.Addiction is not only the withdrawal phenomena but the psychological craving for the same drug weeks and months after cessation and long after all withdrawal phenomena have subsided. The experience of confirmed smokers after discontinuance of cigarettes is a perfect example of the latter phenomenon.Any agent capable of inducing a mood change or effective analgesia will be addicting to a greater or lesser degree to a certain number of persons. The more it affects mood and the more it relieves pain, the more addicting this agent will be. I am using "addicting" here in the sense not only of withdrawal phenomena but also of the psychological craving

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