Doctor in 1862 attributes opioid epidemic to physicians and druggists
"What, or rather who, is responsible for these 20,000 morphine victims in St. Louis? The physician and the druggist, most largely. In saying this. I do not charge my professional brethren with anything that I do not blame myself for equally. The free use of the hypodermic syringe in administering morphine as a quick cure for headaches, as a relief from great tatlgue, as a false stimulant in cases of slight nervous prostration, caused perhaps by the stralnof a society life, is more common with physicians than is generally known. It Is done In all good faith, and often conscientiously accompanied by warnings of the dangers of morphine, but it is in numberless cases the beginning of the awful morphine habit. The nerve-craving for morphine is established, and from that day begins the dreadful wreck of a life which can only be made In all Its hopeless horror by morphine Indulgence. This wreck, begun by the physician in his family practice, is continued by the druggist In his family sales. It Is foolish to argue that druggists are forbidden by law to sell morphine except on a doctor's prescription. That they do sell it otherwise, and to customers whom they know to be morphine fiends, is a fact beyond all dispute, sometimes it Is a plain issue with a druggist whether he shall refuse to sell a customer morphine, and therefore lose that customer forever, or sell the morphine sub-rosa and keep tha customer. The druggist naturally reasons that he Is not responsible for his customer being a morphine fiend, and that if he refuses to sell the drug,6 ins competitor win not oe so conscientious, and he will thereby lose a valuable customer, while the morphine victim gets his morphine all the same. The result of such reasoning 13 very apt to be that the morphine applicant's regular druggist will sell him the drug, under a faint protest. And so the morphine fiend's chains are riveted upon hlin. In exceedingly rare cases, disappointments, discouragements, or disasters in life, will cause a man or woman to voluntarily become a morphine fiend. But there are ninety-nine involuntary victims to one of these self -elected, and It is for their benefit that I con sent to tell my own experience as a slave to me morpnine naoit.