PNEUMONIA FOLLOWING INFLUENZA (AT CAMP PIKE, ARK.)

EUGENE L. OPIE
1919 Journal of the American Medical Association  
injection when she presented herself for treatment. Occa¬ sionally she used cocain. The Wassermann test was strongly positive. The patient was given the Towns-Lambert treatment with an initial dose of 1 grain of morphin. She received five infu¬ sions in three days. The first night and the morning of the second day were marked by discomfort with some nausea and vomiting. (The patient was probably started with too small an initial dose of morphin.) The afternoon and evening of the second day were
more » ... the second day were tolerably comfortable, though the patient at times complained of nausea. She managed to sleep the second night between her belladonna capsules. She was nervous and restless the third day, but experienced no acute with¬ drawal symptoms. She was given IS grains of chloral and IS grains of sodium bromid at bedtime, but spent a rather wakeful night. After the third day the patient had only one period of nervousness, this being on the fourth evening. She was given no further hypnotics. She was discharged the sixth day. Case 6.-A woman, aged 52, had used morphin for fifteen years, and was using 3 grains daily by hypodermic injection. At times she used cocain. The Wassermann test was strongly positive. The patient was given the Towns-Lambert treatment with an initial dose of 1 grain of morphin. She received five infu¬ sions in three days. She was nervous and restless during the latter half of the second day. She was also nervous on the third day. There was some nausea accompanying the nervousness, but the patient vomited only once or twice. Her discomfort was considerably relieved by the infusions. She was given hypnotics on the third evening, but afterward slept well without them. There was no discomfort after the third day. The patient was discharged on the sixth day. BROADER ASPECTS OF MORPHINISM We should bear in mind that 75 per cent, of morphinists have contracted their habit through the care¬ less administration of morphin by physicians ; conse¬ quently they are by-products from the practice of the medical profession. A majority of the remaining 25 per cent, owe their habit largely to the former careless sale of morphin consequent on government negligence. In regard to the present position of the morphinist: When the Harrison Narcotic Act came into force in March, 1915, it automatically stopped the supply of morphin available to addicts through legitimate chan¬ nels. It did not stop the morphinist's physiologic need for the drug, however, and it did not provide medical treatment to remove this need. Consequently, while beneficent in its intent and doubtless beneficent in its ultimate and total result, the act imposes unwarranted suffering on existing addicts. Even the victims of the morphin habit are entitled to a square deal, and it would seem that the least that could be done to alleviate their misery would be" to register them and license them to receive their mor¬ phin at the hands of a duly authorized physician or government agent. Such a procedure would have the additional advantage of stopping the illicit traffic in morphin. It would be better to cure these addicts, however, than to license them ; and they must be cured in order to be reformed, for their disability is more physical than moral. They were neither cured nor reformed with the enactment of the. Harrison act; they were merely designated as the prey of illicit dealers. These dealers create more morphinists; and by their extor¬ tion they impel their victims to prostitution and crime. Thus they bring confusion into the reforms originally purposed by the Harrison r-ct. 900
doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610080022008 fatcat:lsegxojd7bfwdd6fcxsaut7o64