Man's physical universe

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RELIEF OF PAIN REVOLUTIONIZED SURGERY 787

obtain his next supply of the drug. The addict early loses his will power

and is often guilty of sex crimes; eventually his health is ruined.

Habituation Differs from Addiction to Drugs.

Habituation differs from addiction in that the drug may be discontinued

without any of the ill effects of the withdrawal period typically

seen in morphine addicts. The principal drugs of habituation are

nicotine, caffeine, aspirin, acetanilide, and bromides. Even the drugs

of habituation may lead to addiction. A tobacco-smoker who uses

several packs of cigarettes a day may find that they are necessary to

quiet his nerves, while a coffee addict may experience a headache in the

absence of his usual amountof coffee.

If one finds that he is gradually requiring

more and more of such drugs, he is well on the way to addiction.

Nicotine appears to serve no useful purpose, but caffeine raises the

level of physiological activity, decreases the reaction time, and delays

muscular and mental fatigue. For the average person from one to

three cups of coffee daily will be harmless; but the excessive use of

caffeine, as the excessive use of any such powerful, physiologically

active substance, should be avoided. The tolerance for caffeine differs

greatly among individuals. Tea, cola drinks, and the South American

yerba mate also contain caffeine.

Ephedrine Is an Alkaloid That Has Come into Extensive Use during the

Past Twenty Years.

Epinephrine was the first hormone to be synthesized.

Note its close

structural relationship to ephedrine, a typical alkaloid, which is found

in the Chinese Ma huang plant. Ephedrine has been synthesized, and

in 1939, 25,202 pounds of synthetic ephedrine were produced in the

United States in addition to over 600,000 pounds of the natural

product which were imported from the Far East.

CH3 H CH3

H—

H—

I

H—C—NHCH3

I

H—C—NHCH3

I

H—C—NH2

I

H—C—OH

I

H—C—OH

I

H—C—

I- I

c c c

/ \ / \ / \

C— H— C— H—

H— C—OH H—

C—

I II I II I II

\ / \/ \/

c c c

H iH OH H

ephedrine epinephrine benzedrine

C—

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