Among the many problems present in connection with opium addiction is one about which there seems to be a good deal of controversy— Does addiction to this drug bring about physical deterioration? A good deal of confusion that exists in the literature on this subject is due, as Terry and Pellens1 have pointed out, to variation in individual susceptibility and the amount of daily dosage and to the failure to distinguish between drug balance and early withdrawal symptoms.
Opium addicts, when once "hooked," as they so aptly express their plight, need a certain daily dosage to prevent the appearance of "withdrawal symptoms." In certain types of users, this dosage may remain constant in small quantities for years. Another and far more numerous group is composed of those who increase the amount used until eventually they are forced to undergo treatment or begin reduction of the dose themselves. In either event,
LIGHT AB, TORRANCE EG. OPIUM ADDICTION: II. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND PHYSICAL FITNESS OF ADDICTS DURING ADMINISTRATION OF MORPHINE. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1929;43(3):326–334. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.1929.00130260029002
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