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Cocaine-Poisoning-A

drug and mental

COCAINE-POISONING.--A morbid condition produced either by an overdose of cocaine, or by the continued use of the drug. The acule• form of this disease is probably always caused by excessive medicinal doses of the remedy. The poisoned individual at first creates the impression of being under the influence of alcohol ; this is followed by marked collapse, sometimes by convulsions. If the patients do not succumb within the first hour, they usually recover.

Much more important and frequent is the chronic form which occurs in those individuals who habitually indulge in the use of the drug. The vast majority of these victims acquire the habit through the use of the mere tricious catarrh-cures so widely advertised, most of which contain this deadly poison. The affection manifests itself by bodily, but especially by mental, weakness. Loss of memory, disturbances of sight and hearing, fainting spells, loss of flesh and strength, and even severe mental disturb ances are the most prominent symptoms. There is but one remedy for this

fo of poisoning—a living death, even more terrible in its effects than that due to morphine. This is the immediate and complete withdrawal of the drug. This, however, can be successfully accomplished only in an institu tion, as the unfortunate patients require careful supervision, owing to the occurrence of still more severe mental disturbances (often suicidal attempts) during the withdrawal of the drug. The public should be extremely cautious with regard to " catarrh-cures " of unknown composition ; for many of these remedies, which purport to cure bodily ills, have not only no cura tive effect on the disease for which they are used, but in many cases are the direct cause of acquiring a lifelong habituation to a deadly drug.