Chapter 3—Drugs

The Usual but Dangerous Course—A practice that is laying the foundation of a vast amount of disease and of even more serious evils, is the free use of poisonous drugs. When attacked by disease, many will not take the trouble to search out the cause of their illness. Their chief anxiety is to rid themselves of pain and inconvenience. So they resort to patent nostrums, of whose real properties they know little, or they apply to a physician for some remedy to counteract the result of their misdoing, but with no thought of making a change in their unhealthful habits. If immediate benefit is not realized, another medicine is tried, and then another. Thus the evil continues.—The Ministry of Healing, 126. Te 82.4

Medicine at Any Cost—The sick are in a hurry to get well, and the friends of the sick are impatient. They will have medicine, and if they do not feel that powerful influence upon their systems their erroneous views lead them to think they should feel, they impatiently change for another physician. The change often increases the evil. They go through a course of medicine equally as dangerous as the first.—How to Live 3, 62. Te 83.1

The Sad Result—By the use of poisonous drugs, many bring upon themselves lifelong illness, and many lives are lost that might be saved by the use of natural methods of healing. The poisons contained in many so-called remedies create habits and appetites that mean ruin to both soul and body. Many of the popular nostrums called patent medicines, and even some of the drugs dispensed by physicians, act a part in laying the foundation of the liquor habit, the opium habit, the morphine habit, that are so terrible a curse to society.—The Ministry of Healing, 126, 127. Te 83.2

Nervous System Deranged—Drugs given to stupefy, whatever they may be, derange the nervous system.—How to Live 3, 57. Te 83.3

A Penalty Fixed for Every Transgression—God has formed laws which govern our constitutions, and these laws which He has placed in our being are divine, and for every transgression there is affixed a penalty, which must sooner or later be realized. The majority of diseases which the human family have been and still are suffering under, they have created by ignorance of their own organic laws. They seem indifferent in regard to the matter of health, and work perseveringly to tear themselves to pieces, and when broken down and debilitated in body and mind, send for the doctor and drug themselves to death.—Counsels on Diet and Foods, 19. Te 83.4

Simple Living Versus the Drugstore—Thousands who are afflicted might recover their health, if, instead of depending upon the drugstore for their life, they would discard all drugs, and live simply, without using tea, coffee, liquor, or spices, which irritate the stomach and leave it weak, unable to digest even simple food without stimulation. The Lord is willing to let His light shine forth in clear, distinct rays to all who are weak and feeble.—Medical Ministry, 229. Te 84.1

A Reckless Course—To use drugs while continuing evil habits, is certainly inconsistent, and greatly dishonors God by dishonoring the body which He has made. Yet for all this, stimulants and drugs continue to be prescribed, and freely used by human beings, while the hurtful indulgences that produce the disease are not discarded.—Letter 19, 1892. Te 84.2

Those who will gratify their appetite, and then suffer because of their intemperance, and take drugs to relieve them, may be assured that God will not interpose to save health and life which is so recklessly periled. The cause has produced the effect. Many, as their last resort, follow the directions in the word of God, and request the prayers of the elders of the church for their restoration to health. God does not see fit to answer prayers offered in behalf of such, for He knows that if they should be restored to health, they would again sacrifice it upon the altar of unhealthy appetite.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:145. Te 84.3

A Sin Against the Children—If those who take these drugs were alone the sufferers, then the evil would not be as great. But parents not only sin against themselves in swallowing drug poisons, but they sin against their children. The vitiated state of their blood, the poison distributed throughout the system, the broken constitution, and various drug diseases, as the result of drug poisons, are transmitted to their offspring, and left them as a wretched inheritance, which is another great cause of the degeneracy of the race.—How to Live 3, 50. Te 84.4

Easier to Use Drugs—Make use of the remedies that God has provided. Pure air, sunshine, and the intelligent use of water are beneficial agents in the restoration of health. But the use of water is considered too laborious. It is easier to employ drugs than to use natural remedies.—Healthful Living, 247. Te 85.1

Many parents substitute drugs for judicious nursing.—The Health Reformer, September, 1866. Te 85.2

Educate Away From Drugs—Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God's physicians—pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used.—Counsels on Health, 261. Te 85.3

The only hope of better things is in the education of the people in right principles. Let physicians teach the people that restorative power is not in drugs, but in nature. Disease is an effort of nature to free the system from conditions that result from a violation of the laws of health. In case of sickness, the cause should be ascertained. Unhealthful conditions should be changed, wrong habits corrected. Then nature is to be assisted in her effort to expel impurities and to re-establish right conditions in the system.—The Ministry of Healing, 127. Te 85.4

Importance of Preventive Medicine—The first labors of a physician should be to educate the sick and suffering in the very course they should pursue to prevent disease. The greatest good can be done by our trying to enlighten the minds of all we can obtain access to, as to the best course for them to pursue to prevent sickness and suffering, and broken constitutions, and premature death. But those who do not care to undertake work that taxes their physical and mental powers will be ready to prescribe drug medication, which lays a foundation in the human organism for a twofold greater evil than that which they claim to have relieved.—Medical Ministry, 221, 222. Te 86.1

People need to be taught that drugs do not cure disease. It is true that they sometimes afford present relief, and the patient appears to recover as the result of their use; this is because nature has sufficient vital force to expel the poison and to correct the conditions that cause the disease. Health is recovered in spite of the drug. But in most cases the drug only changes the form and location of the disease. Often the effect of the poison seems to be overcome for a time, but the results remain in the system, and work great harm at some later period.—The Ministry of Healing, 126. Te 86.2

A Challenge to Conscientious Physicians—A physician who has the moral courage to imperil his reputation in enlightening the understanding by plain facts, in showing the nature of disease and how to prevent it, and the dangerous practice of resorting to drugs, will have an uphill business, but he will live and let live.... He will, if a reformer, talk plainly in regard to the false appetites and ruinous self-indulgence, in dressing, in eating and drinking, in overtaxing to do a large amount of work in a given time, which has a ruinous influence upon the temper, the physical and mental powers.... Te 86.3

Right and correct habits, intelligently and perseveringly practiced, will be removing the cause for disease, and the strong drugs need not be resorted to.—Medical Ministry, 222. Te 87.1

Study and Teach Laws of Preventive Medicine—There is now positive need even with physicians, reformers in the line of treatment of disease, that greater painstaking effort be made to carry forward and upward the work for themselves, and to interestedly instruct those who look to them for medical skill to ascertain the cause of their infirmities. They should call their attention in a special manner to the laws which God has established, which cannot be violated with impunity. They dwell much on the working of disease, but do not, as a general rule, arouse the attention to the laws which must be sacredly and intelligently obeyed, to prevent disease.—Medical Ministry, 223. Te 87.2

Medicines Which Leave Injurious Effects—God's servants should not administer medicines which they know will leave behind injurious effects upon the system, even if they do relieve present suffering. Every poisonous preparation in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, taken into the system, will leave its wretched influence, affecting the liver and lungs, and deranging the system generally.—Spiritual Gifts 4a:140. Te 87.3

Why Sanitariums Were Established—Nothing should be put into the human system that will leave a baleful influence behind. And to carry out the light on this subject, to practice hygienic treatment, is the reason which has been given me for establishing sanitariums in various localities.—Medical Ministry, 228. Te 87.4

Years ago the Lord revealed to me that institutions should be established for treating the sick without drugs. Man is God's property, and the ruin that has been made of the living habitation, the suffering caused by the seeds of death sown in the human system, are an offense to God.—Medical Ministry, 229. Te 87.5

Patients are to be supplied with good, wholesome food; total abstinence from all intoxicating drinks is to be observed; drugs are to be discarded, and rational methods of treatment followed. The patients must not be given alcohol, tea, coffee, or drugs; for these always leave traces of evil behind them. By observing these rules, many who have been given up by the physicians may be restored to health.—Medical Ministry, 228. Te 88.1

Drugs Seldom Needed—Many might recover without one grain of medicine, if they would live out the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used. It will require earnest, patient, protracted effort to establish the work and to carry it forward upon hygienic principles. But let fervent prayer and faith be combined with your efforts, and you will succeed. By this work you will be teaching the patients, and others also, how to take care of themselves when sick, without resorting to the use of drugs.—Medical Ministry, 259, 260. Te 88.2

Our institutions are established that the sick may be treated by hygienic methods, discarding almost entirely the use of drugs.... There is a terrible account to be rendered to God by men who have so little regard for human life as to treat the body so ruthlessly in dealing out their drugs.... We are not excusable if through ignorance we destroy God's building by taking into our stomachs poisonous drugs under a variety of names we do not understand. It is our duty to refuse all such prescriptions. We wish to build a sanitarium where maladies may be cured by nature's own provisions, and where the people may be taught how to treat themselves when sick; where they will learn to eat temperately of wholesome food, and be educated to refuse all narcotics,—tea, coffee, fermented wines, and stimulants of all kinds,—and to discard the flesh of dead animals.—Manuscript 44, 1896. Te 88.3

For the Most Effective Work—The question of health reform is not agitated as it must and will be. A simple diet, and the entire absence of drugs, leaving nature free to recuperate the wasted energies of the body, would make our sanitariums far more effectual in restoring the sick to health.—Letter 73a, 1896. Te 89.1

Teach the Patients How to Co-operate With God—The people must be educated to understand that it is a sin to destroy their physical, mental, and spiritual energies, and they must understand how to co-operate with God in their own restoration. Through faith in Christ they can overcome the habit of using health-destroying stimulants and narcotics.—Manuscript 12, 1900. Te 89.2