Habit-Forming Agents: Their Indiscriminate Sale and Use a Menace to the Public Welfare Page: 4
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During the last ten years the writer has examined hundreds of
preparations containing one or more habit-forming agents, exclusive
of alcohol. It was not an uncommon practice in former days to
represent to the consumer that such agents were absent, when as a
matter of fact the very drugs named in the disclaimer were present.
The reason for this subterfuge is plain. Normally no one desires to
take preparations containing known habit-forming agents, which
are frequently responsible for the use of, or demand for, the prepara-
tions containing them. During the last few years both federal and
state laws have been enacted requiring a declaration on the label of
the quantity or proportion of certain habit-forming agents when
present in remedies intended for the treatment, mitigation, or pre-
vention of disease in man or animals, but the consumer in many
instances is not sufficiently conversant with the deleterious and
harmful nature of these agents to avoid them. Again, these per-
nicious drugs are present in products which may not be classed as
medicines within the meaning of the above definition.
CLASSES OF PRODUCTS CONTAINING HABIT-FORMING DRUGS.
It is the purpose of this bulletin to consider (1) representative prepa-
rations which in all probability dispose to habit formation; (2) prepa-
rations known to produce drug addiction; (3) nostrums laden with
habit-forming agents to be used in treating drug addicts, including
those addicted to the tobacco habit; (4) those who are primarily re-
sponsible for their sale and use, and, lastly, (5) some measures which
will minimize or tend to eradicate the evil. The several classes of
products will be considered as nearly as practicable in the order in
which they are used, from infancy to old age. It should be stated
at this point that only the most commonly used and known products
of each class are considered in this bulletin, but others of the several
classes are under investigation, and it is expected that the results
will be published as soon as completed.
Soothing sirups naturally occupy the first place in such a list.
Under this title will be briefly considered baby sirups, soothing
sirups, "colic cures," children's anodynes, "infant's friends," teeth-
ing concoctions, etc. It has long been known to the medical profes-
sion that these products as a rule contain habit-forming agents, but
the majority of mothers have been and still are ignorant of this fact,
although some degree of publicity has been given the matter during
recent years. Lest any suspicion or fear should be aroused in the
mind of the mother by the fact that the presence of opium, mor-
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Kebler, Lyman F. (Lyman Frederic), b. 1863. Habit-Forming Agents: Their Indiscriminate Sale and Use a Menace to the Public Welfare, pamphlet, 1910; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85674/m1/4/: accessed January 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.