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The New York Times April 12, 1930
Dr. Lambert Tells Physicians It Is Not Due to Disease but to Emotional Instability.

Drug addiction was described as essentially a response to psychological necessity, rather than a disease, by Dr. Alexander Lambert, Professor of Clinical Medicine at Cornell University, in a lecture yesterday to a group of physicians and social workers at the Academy of Medicine. Fifth Avenue at 103d Street. Dr. Lambert was chairman of the Mayor's committee on narcotics, which made a study of drug addiction last year.

Pointing out that many of those who use drugs are victims of an emotional maladjustment similar to mild forms of insanity. Dr. Lambert said the State should be responsible for their care and treatment in special institutions. Occupational therapy and freedom from worry and care are the best means to accomplish regeneration among victims of the drug habit, he said.

Dr. Lambert said the psychological basis leading to the habitual use of drugs was the desire to escape from the wear and tear of normal living by those whose emotions ruled the mind. Most users of narcotics, he said, have deficiencies in their personalities.

"The fundamental basis of alcoholic addiction and addiction to morphine is essentially the same," he said. "It is not a question of will, but of an emotion that is stronger than the will."

Recent research, he asserted, indicated that there was not a definite addiction disease in regard to morphine, and that users of the drug differed from normal men and women only in the lack of control over their emotions. He said that only 13 per cent of the drug addicts studied by the Mayor's committee on narcotics had average stabilized personalities.

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