The Review and Herald


September 5, 1899

Disease and Its Causes

Drugs and Their Effects


More deaths have been caused by drug-taking than from all other causes combined. If there was in the land one physician in the place of thousands, a vast amount of premature mortality would be prevented. Multitudes of physicians, and multitudes of drugs, have cursed the inhabitants of the earth, and have carried thousands and tens of thousands to untimely graves. RH September 5, 1899, par. 1

Indulgence in eating too frequently, and in too large quantities, overtaxes the digestive organs, and produces a feverish state of the system. The blood becomes impure, and then diseases of various kinds occur. A physician is sent for, who prescribes some drug, which gives present relief, but does not cure the disease. It may change the form of disease, but the real evil is increased tenfold. Nature was doing her best to rid the system of an accumulation of impurities; and had she been left to herself, aided by the common blessings of heaven, such as pure air and pure water, a speedy and safe cure would have been effected. RH September 5, 1899, par. 2

In such cases the sufferers can do for themselves that which others can not do as well for them. They should begin to relieve nature of the load they have forced upon her. They should remove the cause by fasting a short time, and giving the stomach time to rest. The feverish state of the system should be reduced by a careful and understanding application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggle to free the system of impurities. But generally the persons who suffer pain become impatient. They are not willing to practise self-denial, and suffer a little from hunger, neither are they willing to wait the slow process of nature to build up the overtaxed energies of the system; but they are determined to obtain relief at once, and so take powerful drugs, prescribed by physicians. Nature was doing her work well, and would have triumphed; but while accomplishing her task, a foreign substance of a poisonous nature was introduced. What a mistake! Abused nature has now two evils to war against instead of one. She leaves the work in which she was engaged, and resolutely takes hold to expel the intruder newly introduced into the system. Nature feels this double draft upon her resources, and becomes enfeebled. RH September 5, 1899, par. 3

Drugs never cure disease. They only change its form and location. Nature alone is the effectual restorer, and how much better can she perform her task if left to herself! But this privilege is seldom allowed her. If crippled nature bears up under the load, and finally accomplishes in a measure her double task, and the patient lives, the credit is given to the physician. But if nature fails in her effort to expel the poison from the system, and the patient dies, it is called a wonderful dispensation of Providence. If the patient had taken a course to relieve overburdened nature in season, and understandingly used pure, soft water, this dispensation of drug mortality might have been wholly averted. The use of water can accomplish but little, if the patient does not realize the necessity of strict attention to his diet. RH September 5, 1899, par. 4

Many are living in violation of the laws of health, and are ignorant of the relation their habits of eating, drinking, and working sustain to their health. They will not arouse to their true condition until nature protests against the abuse she is suffering, by aches and pains in the system. If, even then, the sufferers would only begin the work right, and would resort to the simple means they have neglected,—the use of water and proper diet,—nature would have just the help that she requires, and which she ought to have had long before. If this course is pursued, the patient will generally recover without being debilitated. RH September 5, 1899, par. 5

When drugs are introduced into the system, they may for a time seem to have a beneficial effect. A change may take place, but the disease is not cured. It will manifest itself in some other form. In nature's efforts to expel the drug from the system, intense suffering is sometimes caused the patient. The disease that the drug was given to cure may disappear, but only to reappear in a new form, such as skin diseases, ulcers, painful diseased joints, and sometimes in a more dangerous and deadly form. The liver, heart, and brain are frequently affected by drugs, and often all these organs are burdened with disease; and the unfortunate subjects, if they live, are invalids for life, wearily dragging out a miserable existence. Oh, how much that poisonous drug cost! If it did not cost the life, it cost quite too much. Nature has been crippled in all her efforts. The whole machinery is out of order, and at a future period in life, when these fine works, which have been injured, are to be relied upon to act a more important part in union with all the fine works of nature's machinery, they can not readily and strongly perform their labor, and the whole system feels the lack. These organs, which should be in a healthy condition, are enfeebled, and the blood becomes impure. Nature keeps struggling, and the patient suffers with different ailments, until there is a sudden break-down, and death follows. More die from the use of drugs than would die from disease, were nature left to do her own work. RH September 5, 1899, par. 6

Very many lives have been sacrificed by physicians’ administering drugs for unknown diseases. They have no real knowledge of the exact disease that afflicts the patient. But physicians are expected to know in a moment what to do; and unless they act at once as if they understood the disease perfectly, they are considered by impatient friends, and by the sick, as incompetent. Therefore, to gratify erroneous opinions of the sick and their friends, medicine must be administered, experiments and tests tried, to cure the patient of a disease of which the physician has no real knowledge. Nature is loaded with poisonous drugs, which she can not expel from the system. The physicians themselves are often convinced that death was the result of their use of powerful medicines for a disease that did not exist. RH September 5, 1899, par. 7