Where are we bound, M.D.s? What road to carry us over the bridge to our coveted destination? Above all, our job is to cure the sick; to relieve where we cannot cure.
With drugs, whipping up the old nag gets us a little quicker and much easier to our immediate goal, but it is harder on the nag and shortens its effectiveness. So much for stimulants. On the other hand, sedatives for the pain of headache, dysmenorrhoea or what-not for insomnia or just nerves, go to the mark for temporary relief. A carthartic does the same for a sluggish digestive tube leading finally to chronic constipation. Coffee or a fag keeps us awake when nature is calling for rest or sleep. The immediate of opium or its derivatives is grand. The suffering vanishes. This too frequent expedient lowers vitality following the law of action and reaction. Institutes for drug addicts have part of the answer but there is a deal more to it. The ultimate state is in direct proportion to the intensity and prolongation of the relief.
Can we look ahead days, weeks, months or years to definite undesirable states from our drugging? We surely can. Also in what is best called suppressions; former generations spoke of it as “driving in” a rash or eruption or discharge. The old idea is, believe it or not, founded on experience and fact. External treatment of syphilitic lesions did not cure syphilis. (How many generations it took to find that out!) Internal medication cured these surface expressions as well as curing the man himself, bringing him again to health. External applications intensified the internal debility. And have you noticed skin specialists of our time shying away from local medication for infantile eczema, by reason of experienced internal troubles following such treatment?.
These two examples connote a law of drug action. Innumerable case records corroborate these statements. So what? Can our cases be managed without these pitfalls? Is it possible by drugs plus cage management to bring recovery from skin disease, metrorrhagia, exanthemata to bring recovery from skin disease, metrorrhagia, exanthemata or most any curable disease with no hang-over? We are sure of our answer, plus. Cures by masters in drug therapy aim at and usually bring about cure in the ordinary meaning of that term, but they are not satisfied, where a chronic disability has preceded, unless the patient returns to a BETTER STATE than before.
In fact it is not called a cure without such a result. A marked difference from our x-ray and radium statistics which rate a cure where the patient IS LIVING after five years.
Medical literature and radio talks are full of over- statements, but we feel the above comments are founded on fact and will be just as potent one hundred years hence. From careful study of hundreds of case records, we state without fear of successful contradiction, that in the hands of its masters in scientific medication under Similia similibus curantur, todays drugging with the sulfas, penicillin and vitamins leaves much to be desired.