Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/358

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350
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.


not overlook the victims of drugs. If you will go, under the protecting ægis of an officer, to an opium den, such as are to be found in every large city, and as a visitor view for yourself the degradation of hopeless opium users, then train your batteries towards removal of the cause. Do not depend upon preaching, or the writing of essays, or the delivery of an address before some society whose mission ends in telling others what to do, but put on the armor of earnestness, go into the nursery, and demand of the mother to know why, when little lumps of human clay are placed in her keeping for the sacred purpose of moulding them into men and women, she deliberately feeds the prattling babe with soothing syrups, sleeping drops, paregoric, and opiates in various other forms, rather than with the healthful food, and simple remedies, that nature only requires. With such commercial nostrums the thoughtless mother too often paves the way for her offspring to a life of toxic-slavery by creating a systemic condition, which, in maturer years, develops an abnormal craving, or appetite, for narcotics and stimulants. Follow this little victim of nursery malpractice through the imitative age, and you will discover in him the cigarette smoker, the tippler, the self-abased youth, and later, the man whose life is shadowed with the curse of baneful appetite.

"Ask the druggist, and the saloon keeper, why they dispense deadly poisons so freely to old and young, and they will tell you the law permits it; a sad commentary!

"Converted men relapse into evil ways through coquetting with sin; and cured inebriates relapse to drink, and drugs, through the use of proprietary medicines, with which the domestic market is flooded.—Tonics, compounds, nerve remedies, bitters, vitalizers, appetizers, balsams, pectorals and kindred nostrums contain, with few exceptions, from 7 to 50 per cent, of alcohol, or opium in varying quantities, each preponderating in kind, as the effect is designed to be stimulating, or sedative. The active principle of some of the best known catarrh remedies is co-