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Biggam, A. G., Arafa, M. A., Ragab, A. F.
Heroin addiction in Egypt.
Lancet. 222, 1932, 922-927.
It is estimated that there are at least one-half million addicts in Egypt, where the total population is 14 millions. Heroin is the most frequently used drug. The authors have made a detailed study of a group of 120 heroin addicts and report data indicating age and occupation, daily dose of drug, period of addiction, addiction to other drugs before heroin, and cause of addiction. The withdrawal symptoms listed in order of frequency and severity were: (1) sleeplessness and excitement; (2) general weakness and pains in the muscles, especially around the knee-joint; (3) sneezing, yawning, and lacrymation; (4) headache; (5) colic, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting; (6) numbness and tingling in the extremities; (7) general depression, exhaustion, and irritability; (8) loss of appetite. It was found that these withdrawal symptoms could be considerably alleviated by giving such sedative drugs as morphia, luminal, intramuscular magnesium sulphate, and paraldehyde. The amount of these drugs given was gradually reduced so that the patient finished all drug treatment by the end of seven days. Other so-called cures were investigated and found to be without permanent benefit.
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