Opium Habit: 1879 account of opioid addiction and recovery

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Opium Habit: 1879 account of opioid addiction and recovery - he It to to be be of a his by it be " to be...
he It to to be be of a his by it be " to be interest of the are a u in our had the star not of sort : OPIUM-IIABIT. - The Experiences of a Man Who Reformed Himself. , How He Came to the Morphine, and What He Suffered from It. " What do the ills of earth amount to, when Heaven can be purchased with a few grains ot brown, bitter, but transmogrifying drug!" Such was the remark of " Long Jim," as we sat about the fire 'late at night, when the coals of the wood-fire glowed, threw up a slignt flame which flickered, cast its uncertain light over the room, aud then lost itself in the bed of coals, which, preparatory to becoming gray-black and then cold, had become very hot, and, like some things in life, were making a spurt at the end of the race. As the gray slowly gathered over the glowing coals our voices fell, and we became confldentiaL Sitting in the centre was a long, lank, lean specimen, who, grave and silent after his observation, watched the dying embers. " To what did you refer!" said the old man. " Opium," was the reply. - "Well, what of its" "What of itt Now, I'll tell you. You know I promised to tell you a story of my life. Now I will do it. Draw up your chairs and keen quiet. The way it all came about was this (You know I can't do anything by halves; when I am good I am good, and when bad, I work at It): I received a fall, struck on the small of my back, and the rest of the day I moved about with great difficulty. That night I consulted a doctor. Ile suggested morphine powder. I said, ,No, I can't take it; it makes me so sick.' He said, 'I can give it to you so it will not make you sick. He then took a small instrument from his pocket, which he called a hypodermic syringe; and then, placing the needle beneath the skin, threw in a small quantity, and in three minutes I was easy. The effect was different from anything I had ever experienced,--no sickness, no nausea. After a splendid night's rest, I awoke the next morning with the pain as bad as ever. Another 'ejection was given by the doctor. In three minutes I was easy again, got, no and went about my business, did a hard day's work, and at night the dose was repeated, with the same result, and again the next morning. You see the drug was so deceptive that while under Its influence I could work and be free from pain, so instead of laving up and letting Nature do her work and cure me, I kept taking the inieetions until the pain would grow worse when was completely from under the influence of morphine. Idiot that I was, I thought all the time it was the back, bought me a hypodermic syringe, procured a solution of morphine, and the first thing I knew I could not do without it. I was compelled to take it night and morning to be at ail comfortable. Then as I used it, I was not content to simply have enough to keep me free from pain. But hke that tire, when once Kindled, IT GREW IN PORCH AND STRENGTH. until my body was like that bed of coals. If not replenished, you see, it grows gray and black; and I, if not continually taking the cursed stuff, was weak, nervous, and miserable. As I said, I was not content to take just enough to keep me free from pain. but I began to like the effect of the drug. After the day's work was done, I would take an extra dose, for, you see, it was growing on me all the time, go to my room, and sit in a half-dreamy condition. Sometimes I would ascend Mt. Blanc, at others Mt. Rosa. Again, I would no with Sir Frederick Douglas and his party, who were lost on the Matterhorn, only in my dreams we did not get lost. Again, I would be on the glaciers of the Alps, with a whole generation of Twang- 1 walidars and UroziersAlpine imideswith me. We climbed with ease ice-wails, walked past giddy heights, jumped crevasses, and stood chained to the summit by the beauty ot the scene, gazing on the immense fields of snow and ice, as they reflected a thousand different hues gorgeous with gold and red. Again, I would be in the tropics, and the most beautiful scenery, with the most beautiful animals for my companions. At other times I would be again with Thomas at Chicainauga, or storming Lookout Mountain, or in the assault on Kenesaw, or the fearful winter campaign after Nashville. You Know those were realities, and I was there, suffered as many hardships as any one, was wounded, and all that. But when living it over in my half-remembrance and half-vision, it was all pleasant; the wounda were unreal, and the "lead amen seemed to enjoy it. Well, as I said, this was of an evening. The extra dose was taken about supper-time. This was all very well, as it aid not interfere with business. But it would not stop here; the extra dose at night required an extra dose in the morning, until I found I was increasing my doses daily. Then I would try to reduce the dose, leave the syringe at home, and go to business. But in the afternoon I would begin to feel the want of it. Then I would take brandy, whisky, or anything that would stimu- lateyes, anything. but this would only add fuel to the tame, and increase the desire for the morphine. The result would be, I would drink enough to feel the effects of it and go home, and, reckless from drink, would take ac extra dose. Then for a time I would go ahead and take it without trying to diminish the dose, but rather increasing all the time. For as I used it my system became used to it, and took more to accomplish the same result. THE NEXT STEP was that I became so accustomed to the morphine that I combined whisky with it. Then that grew on me apace with the other. After awhile I concluded to quit, and did quit, got over it, and was getting on first-rate, when, as the Devil would have it, a friend asked me to take a glass of beer,that is if you can callany man a friend that will ask you to drink. That glass of beer started a strong desire for a glass of whisky, and, the whisky taken, I was.gone. I again took morphine, but this time I did not get baths again to my old gait, but cut it -off, for I had suffered enough the first time. When I got over it the last time I kept clear of all kind of stimulants. It is my only safety. I tell you if I was to take a drink I would take a dose of , morphine. I know it. That is why I am an , an advocate of temperance, and, after what I have gone through, I think I should be. " But I am digressing. I spoke about trying to quit gradually, and about my failure. Well, then, I thought 1 would try and cut off at once, so I gave up my syringe and morphine, and waited. The first day I-felt the want of it very much; was very restless that night, I slept a disturbed sleep, and such dreams! Steamboats blowing up, railroad trains smashing! Again I was at Kenesaw and Misatoll Mire:, it was not the pleasant scene of my former vision, where the dead seemed to enjoy it. The reality Ness bad enough, but the horrors of this time were awful. I saw again Gen. Breckenridge in his charge at Stone River. The reality was bad enough, but this dream surpassed anvthing I could conceive of in my sober senses. The field was covered with more men than composed the entire division. The next morning I awakened, tired, exhausted, and would have giyen anything on earth for a dose of morphine. I lay in bed all day, afraid to trust myself out of bed. That night no sleep. Nervous, restless, I rolled and tossed all night, one moment covered with profuse perspiration, the next chilled through. I thought morning would never come. Weak and exhausted I was not able to get out of bed, and such pains! I would take a revised edition of my first injury twice over for a week to that day and the three following. That night I happened to think of a pint of brandy in the closet, eo I got it and drank it all, thinking I would get drunk and go to sleep. It did not affect me, so I grn a bottle of California wine and drank that. The two made me sick. and bad no other effect. That nieht, no sleep. The flickering fire in the grate cast shadows on the wall. These became real. Although I was conscious it was not true, still in spite of me they would resolve themselves into realities. I had seen a cut in ilarner's of the wreck of the Atlantic, of the White Star line, off Halifax. These shadows would resolve themselves into that wreck. I would one moment be struggling with the line that was fastened from the ship to the shore. Again I would be up in the rigging half-frozen, and washed over by the sea. I would shake this off, and then I would be transferred to the Kansas prairies, and at the cabin of the Benders witnessing the brutal scenes enacted there. The next morning, more exhausted and weaker than beiore, I suffered everything. My shinbone was nearly killing me. and beets and bead were trying to follow suit. I kept this up for four nights. The filth, about 1 o'clock, I fell into a light sleep, and rested for two hours. The next day, being very weak, i drank some beef tea. The next night I gained a little on my sleep, and began to relish my beef tea. THUS, THROUGH MUCH surrERrNG, I gradually got so I could sleep, aud with my appetite came strength. but for weeks the desire for a oose remained, but gradually I got over it until I took the drink I spoke of. Then again I took the stuff. In a short time I azain broke off, and then I was like the child who dreads fire. I kept clear of both kinds of stimulants, Lad flan wa," adrit.t. At is the only safety for any man. Touch not, etc., is a good thine to stand by. " You all remember how I used to be when you would ask Inc what I was taking. And I most strenuously denied I was taking anything. Here let me remark, one of the first effects of Opium is to make one lie about it. A saint would He if he was so unfortunate as to get to taking It My experience "tas such that I can, I think, spot a man who tampers with the drug. The cold MY eye, the dough-tace, the far-off look. And I see them often on our streets, and sometimes In our best people. VIE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN vrtitstor AND OPIUM is with the first a man can drink a week, cut off. and be all richt; but with opium a matt is compelled to shut himself up for a time or keep on taking it. The question of gradual reduction is a myth, a fraud; the only way to do is to cut off. suffer, and take it like a man. "Thia thing is growing on us. In America to-day there are 200,000 people who take opium and are called opium-eaters; but there is no Such thing as an opium-eater. Nobody eats it. It is used either in pill, tincture, or some of the salts of opium, morphine, couea, or other preparations. They all take it in this way. The masses use laudanum or crude opium, doctors and literary men take hypodermic injection. As a rule people zet into this habit. first by haying pain, then by the injudicious use of the drug either by a physician or the advice of friends. Then it is taken awhile openly for the cause, whatever it may be. Then comes the clandestine use of it with the lies that follow. You may all subscribe for homes that reform drunkards, but an evil is crowing up in your midst almost unknown. Here, you men who are trying to do good to your fellow-man, get to work and form an asylum for persons who are more sinned against than sinning, whose feet once well within the the door take hold of death. The habit can be broken, and the philanthropists of the country should take hold of it. Now you have my story, and my opinion with it." The question was asked, "Do you think the opium habit can be broken!" " Yes, it can, out the proper influence must be brought. and the Person must forever keep from all kind of stimulants." The coals that were red had crown gray and black, the room was cola, Long Jim had given us a history that explained many points to us, and we retired. NED. MYTHS ARE BUT SYMBOLS OF TRUTH. As the scholar sees in the vain but beautiful mythologies of the ancients the embodied expressions of the hungry human soul, blindly groping after the Infinite, so the physician sees In that popular myth of the sixteenth century the fountain of perpetual health and youth, an expression of the longings of suffering humanity for a remedy that should forever prevent the incursion of dis3ase. The wilds of Europe were ransacked for this wonderful fountain, and Ponce de Leon sought for it in the cypress-swamps and tangled everglades of our sunny Florida. !den have searched for it everywhere and anywhere but where it really isin the human body itself. The blood is the real fountain of perpetual health and youth. When this source is corrupted, the painful and sorrow-producing effects are visible in many shapes. The multifarious forms in which it manifests itself would form subjects upon which I might write volumes. But as all the varied forms of disease which depend upon bad blood are cured, or best treated, by such medicines as take up from this fluid and excrete from the system the noxious elements, it is not of practical importance that I should describe each. For instance, medical authors describe about fifty varieties of skin disease, but as they all require for their cure very similar treatment, it is of no practical utility to know just what name to apply to a certain form of skin disease, so you know bow best to cure it. Then again, I might go on and describe various kinds of scrofulous sores, lever sores, white swellings, enlarged glands. and ulcers of varying appearance; might describe how virulent poison may show itself in various forms of eruptions, ulcers, sore throat, bony tumors, etc.; but as all these various-appearing manifestations of bad blood are cured by &uniform means, I deem such a course unnecessary. Thoroughly cleanse the blood, which is the great fountain of life, and good digestion, a fair skin, buoyant spirits, vital strength, and soundness of constitution, will all return to us. For this purpose Dr. Pier:e's Golden Medical Discovery and Purgative Pellets are pre-eminently the articles needed. They are warranted to cure tetter, salt-rheum, scald head, St. Anthony's lire, rose rash or erysipelas, ring-worms, pimples, blotches, spots, eruptions, pustules, boils, carbuncles, sore eyes, rough skin, scurf. scrofulous sores and swellings, fever sores, white swellings, tumors. old sores or swellings, affections of the skin, thsoat, and bones, and ulcers of the liver, stomach, kidneys, and lungs. AMUSEMENTS. .,inft,0,0.,'.,,.mw.,.,,d.,,0,--.--,,...,s0.Wg,.,,,,WiRof FAH WELL HILL. Entertainment under the auspices of Co. B, First Cavalry, I. N. G. LECTURE BY REV. DR. THons. Gd PROBLEMS." MUSIC BY CHICAGO QUARTETTE. Friday Evening, Feb. 15. Admission. 25 cents; with reserved seat. 50 cents. bale of tickets begins Monday. Feb. 11. at Jansen. McClurg gs Co.'s and West bide Library. NORM SIDE TURN-DILLE. GRAND CONCERT TILLS AFTERNOON. AT S O'CLOCK, BY VIE CHICAGO ORCHESTRA (40 Pieces), GEORGE LOESCR, Director. BEETHOVEN, BAIN T-SA EN S, MOZART, MEYERBEER, WEBER, STRAUSS. The best of masic et the lowest of prices. Admission, 15 cents. COLISEUM. NOVELTY THEATRE. No. 87 Clark-st. THIS (SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING, Last Times of the Wonderful JACKITS-CHY'S JAPS V 46. 'ha, ...ma.. mi.. -.110 ono Pk, 'LP . And LITTLE ALL-RIGHT. Don't fail to see them. Last appearance of the greatest of all Gymnasts. THE MILTON JASPERS. Monday Night. Feb. 11. the Sensation of the Day. THE SIEGRIST MIDGETS, And the new 'Realistic Drama in four acts. WEALTH AND CRIME; or. Escaped from the Gallows. Joe Green, Mr. A. IL Sheldon. Jennie Barlow. Mies Nellie Sanford. FARWELL RILL MODAY EVENING, FEB. 113, 11374, PROP. WILLIA31 ALEXANDER. 11I'VERS1 will deliver a course of six lectures on EGYPT AND PALESTINE. THE GREAT PYRAMID. and THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON, at Farwed Hall. commencing Monday evening. Feb. 18. and continuinT thereafter every Monday evening tor six weeks. Tit kets. 23e. II0c, 75e. and 1. For wile at the bookstores and at the hail. N. R.Box office, for tie sale of Reserved Seat& will be opened at Root & Sons' Music Co.. 158 State-se.. on Thursday. Feb. 14, and continue for four days. Doors open at 7 o'clock p. in. Lecture will begin at 8 p. m. ILIVERLY'S THEITRE (Late Ade Inhi- ) J. H. HAVERLY Proprietor and Manager. THIS SUNDAY NIGHT, REMEMBER! DANITES FINER STYLE THAN EVER. Cast, scenery, effects. etc., far superior to first produc- tion at this great ;opu !theatre. heatre. The gifted American artists. MR. McKEE RANKIN and MISS KITTY BLANCH A RD. in Mr. Joaquin Miller's Imre American drama, TIlE DAN ITEM. MR. LOCis ALDRICH, MIL C. T. PARSLOE. Vining Bowers, Misa Dors Goldthwalie, and a wonderful strong cast. Matinees Wectuesdays and saturdays. at 2:30. McVICKER'S 1111EATRE. COMEDY, DRAMA, EARLETED WEEK. MONDAY', TI-EsDA1. WEDNEsDAY NIGHTS. PAUL PRY. SATURDAY MATINEE. J Romeo Jaliaer Jenkins. JOHN DILLON f as i; solimiePorYjailler Jenkins. ThursdayTHE LANCASHIRE LASSJOHN DILLON as Party by the name of Johnson. Nest WeeuElahorate production of the popular dramaTWO OltrH A N S. NEW CHICAGO THEATRE. StrNDAY EVENING. FEB. 10.1878, EINE FRAU MIT ZWANZIG MILLIONEN. Comedy in 3 Acta, by H. Meikhae. ALE1-. Vc-CltbTL2- Director. TO-MORROW at ty in to I

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  1. Chicago Tribune,
  2. 10 Feb 1878, Sun,
  3. Page 16

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  • Opium Habit: 1879 account of opioid addiction and recovery

    staff_reporter – 23 Apr 2018

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