Whiskey for Pain

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"Whiskey is one of the cheapest and best painkillers known to man." So reported Dr. Harold George Wolff of Cornell last week to the Association of American Physicians meeting at Atlantic City. Earlier doctors, he said, prescribed whiskey freely but were finally forced to discard it for "moral and ethical considerations.''

In their experiments, Drs. Wolff, James D. Hardy and Helen Goodell tried a mixture of two ounces of 95% grain alcohol in a glass of ginger ale on themselves, found that it raises the "threshold" of pain 45% for two hours. Two ounces of 90-proof whiskey will turn the same trick. If a five-grain tablet of aspirin is added, any pain can be dulled for four hours. Dr. Wolff urged his colleagues to return to the use of whiskey for "persons suffering continuously," especially cancer victims. Said he: "It is cheaper than morphine. ... Of course alcohol is habit-forming but an alcohol habit is less difficult to deal with than a morphine habit."