The Uncounted Cost
Drugs and Patent Medicines
The first and most obvious effect of opium, for example, is to deaden pain and to arouse pleasure; but while the drug is producing these soothing sensations, it interferes with bodily functions. Secretion, digestion, absorption of food, and the removal of waste matters are hindered. Continued use of the drug leads to headache, exhaustion, nervous depression, and heart weakness. There is thus a heavy toll reckoned against the user, and the creditor is relentless in demanding payment.
Moreover, the respite allowed by a narcotic is exceedingly brief, and a depression which is long and deep inevitably follows. In order to overcome this depression, recourse is usually had to a further dose, and as time goes on, the intervals of depression become more frequent and lasting, and the necessity to overcome them increases. Thus without intention one finds one's self bound to the drug, its fast victim. The sanatoria of our country are crowded with people who are trying to free themselves of a drug habit into which they have drifted unintentionally if not altogether unknowingly. What is true of opium is equally applicable to other narcotics.