Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/352

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344
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

and keep peanuts and figs in my room, for I often have to eat in the night."

Until multitudes of people like that business man, and that bright woman, are educated in matters of health, it will not be easy for physicians to bring Sir Frederick's prediction to fulfilment.

The popular supposition is that drugs cure disease, and all that the medical adviser is for is to choose the drug that will produce the desired effect with the greatest speed. Consequently the physician is in many cases driven to prescribe drugs that simply allay pain without removing the cause of the pain. He cannot remove the cause without the patient's co-operation, and as that would require the abandonment of wrong habits few are willing to accept health at such a price. What man will abandon beer to escape rheumatism, or smoking to save his eyesight if he has weakness there? Or, what woman will cease tea-drinking if she has neuralgia?

The Journal of the American Medical Association for November 16, 1907, contained an editorial article in which, after reference to drugs necessary in the practice of a physician or surgeon, this is said:—

"The remark of Holmes years ago that it would be better for the patients, but worse for the fish, if most of the drugs were thrown into the sea, is probably even more true to-day. The vast majority of these drugs have not the slightest excuse for existence."

Dr. T. D. Crothers, in his valuable book upon Morphinism and other drug addictions, reports a case of murder where it was shown that the assailant was