The Review and Herald


August 29, 1899

Disease and Its Causes

Drugs and Their Effects


The fourth case, the person to whom was given opium, was again presented before me. She had awakened from her sleep much prostrated. Her mind was distracted. She was impatient and irritable, finding fault with her best friends, and imagining that they did not try to relieve her sufferings. She became frantic, and raved like a maniac. The gentleman before mentioned looked sadly upon the sufferer, and said to those present: “This is the second result of taking opium.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 1

Her physician was called. He gave her an increased dose of opium, which quieted her ravings, yet made her very talkative and cheerful. She was at peace with all around her, and expressed much affection for acquaintances, as well as for her relatives. She soon grew drowsy, and fell into a stupefied condition. The gentleman mentioned above, solemnly said: “Her condition is no better now than when she was in her frantic ravings. She is decidedly worse. This drug-poison, opium, gives temporary relief from pain, but does not remove the cause of pain. It only stupefies the brain, rendering it incapable of receiving impressions from the nerves. While the brain is thus insensible, the hearing, the taste, and the sight are affected. When the influence of opium wears off, and the brain arouses from its state of paralysis, the nerves, which had been cut off from communication with the brain, shriek out, louder than ever, the pain in the system, because of the additional outrage the system has sustained in receiving this poison. Every additional drug given to the patient, whether it be opium or some other poison, will complicate the case, and make the patient's recovery more hopeless. The drugs given to stupefy, whatever they may be, derange the nervous system. An evil, simple in the beginning, which nature aroused herself to overcome, and which she would have overcome had she been left to herself, has been made tenfold worse by the introduction of drug-poisons into the system. The result of these poisons is a destructive disease of itself, forcing into extraordinary action the remaining life-forces to war against and overcome the drug intruder.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 2

I was brought into the sick-room of the first case, that of the father and his daughter. The daughter was sitting by the side of her father, cheerful and happy, with the glow of health upon her countenance. The father was looking upon her with happy satisfaction, his countenance speaking the gratitude of his heart, that his only child was spared to him. Her physician entered, and after conversing with the father and child for a short time, arose to leave. He addressed the father thus: “I present to you your daughter restored to health. I gave her no medicine, that I might leave her with an unbroken constitution. Medicine never could have accomplished this. Medicine deranges nature's fine machinery, and breaks down the constitution, and kills, but it never cures. Nature alone possesses restorative powers. She alone can build up her exhausted energies, and repair the injuries she has received by inattention to her fixed laws.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 3

He then asked the father if he was satisfied with his manner of treatment. The happy father expressed his heartfelt gratitude and perfect satisfaction, saying: “I have learned a lesson I shall never forget. It was painful, yet it is of priceless value. I am now convinced that my wife and children need not have died. Their lives were sacrificed while in the hands of physicians, by their poisonous drugs.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 4

I was then shown the second case,—the patient to whom nux vomica had been administered. She was being supported by two attendants, from her chair to her bed. She had nearly lost the use of her limbs. The spinal nerves were partially paralyzed, and the limbs had lost their power to bear her weight. She coughed distressingly, and breathed with difficulty. She was laid upon the bed, and soon lost her hearing and sight; and after lingering thus a while, she died. The gentleman before mentioned looked sorrowfully upon the lifeless body, and said to those present: “Witness the protracted influence of nux vomica upon the human system. At its introduction, the nervous energy was excited to extraordinary action to meet this drug-poison. This extra excitement was followed by prostration, and the final result has been paralysis of the nerves. This drug does not have the same effect upon all. Some, who have powerful constitutions; recover from abuses to which they may subject the system; while others, whose hold on life is not so strong, who possess enfeebled constitutions, never recover from receiving into the system even one dose: many die from no other cause than the effects of one potion of this poison. Its effects are always tending to death. The condition the system is in, at the time those poisons are received into it, determines the life of the patient. Nux vomica can cripple, paralyze, destroy health forever, but it never cures.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 5

The third case—that of the young man to whom had been administered calomel—was again presented before me. He was a pitiful sufferer. His limbs were crippled, and he was greatly deformed. He said that his sufferings were beyond description, and life was to him a great burden. The gentleman whom I have repeatedly mentioned looked upon the sufferer with sadness and pity, and said: “This is the effect of calomel. It torments the system as long as there is a particle of the poison left in it. It ever lives, not losing its properties by its long stay in the living system. It inflames the joints, and often sends rottenness into the bones. It frequently manifests itself in the tumors, ulcers, and cancers, years after it has been introduced into the system.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 6

The fourth case was again presented before me,—the patient to whom opium had been administered. Her countenance was sallow, and her eyes were restless and glassy. Her hands shook as if palsied, and she appeared greatly excited, imagining that all present were leagued against her. Her mind was a complete wreck, and she raved in a pitiful manner. The physician was summoned, and seemed to be unmoved at these terrible exhibitions. He gave the patient a more powerful potion of opium, which he said would set her all right. Her ravings did not cease until she became thoroughly intoxicated. She then passed into a deathlike stupor. The gentleman already mentioned looked upon the patient, and said, sadly: “Her days are numbered. The efforts that nature has made have been so many times overpowered by this poison that the vital forces are exhausted by being repeatedly induced to unnatural action to rid the system of this poisonous drug. Nature's efforts are about to cease, and then the patient's suffering life will end.” RH August 29, 1899, par. 7