SOME NEW STUDIES OF THE OPIUM DISEASE.Read before the Philadelphia County Medical Society, January 27, 1892

1892 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
that the general practitioners rely too much upon anodynes." In this matter of too sympathetic and assiduous medical treatment errors rather of judgment than intention are often committed. Of no less importance is the behavior of an opiate -on a patient of uric acid diathesis, in Avhich a demand for relief of pain on the part of the patient often becomes quite urgent. Here, again, the researches of Dr. A. Haig shoAv us that the drug tends to store up the acid; that when elimination begins to
more » ... e place there is often a return of pain, the patient again demanding reliefin this manner a cycle can easily become established. These pictures teach us the importance of keeping the drug entirely out of the reach of the patient, and the necessity of its careful and conscientious use Avhere it may be indicated. As a preface, I Avish to express my emphatic dis¬ sent against the common use of the Avord habit, in •describing the opium disease. The popular meaning conveyed by this term is some state or condition vol¬ untarily acquired and retained, with the certainty of being throAvn off at any time at the will of the patient. This vieAv assumes a knoAvledge of the physiology and psychology of the brain and its functions that is not yet attained. Hence the use of the Avord is incorrect, Avrong, and contradicted by the facts in the clinical history of each case. It also conveys a false impres¬ sion of the nature and origin of such cases, and is a word to Avhich different meanings will always be given. No other Avord is more misleading and con¬ fusing, Avhen applied to opium, alcohol, and other border-land neuroses.
doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411120015001b fatcat:7flzve6zojhiboevfvers4qfdm