Cocaine for Asthma, 1935

Cocaine used to be used for all kinds of medicinal uses. In 1935, it was given as a nasal spray to treat asthma by Dr Stanley Rowbotham, who was subsequently sued by his patient for becoming addicted to it. Here’s the article about the court case:

The Yorkshire Post, 5th March, 1935

The Yorkshire Post, 5th March, 1935

 

The court found in favour of the doctor, thinking the patient’s story unlikely. One expert said that “drug addiction is comparatively rare in this country,” which sounds like they were doubting it was possible for him to be addicted at all. With all the strong medication is was possible to get hold of at this time, I’d guess that drug addiction was commoner than they recognised.

Here’s close ups of the article to make it easier to read:

Dr Rowbotham was to become a key pioneer in the development of anaesthetics and plastic surgery, operating on facial disfigurements, and given the Bronze star for his work during World War Two.

The patient, Kenneth Rhodes, had a less happy future ahead of him. He didn’t survive the year, apparently shooting himself dead a few months later.

Western Daily Press, 23rd December, 1935

Western Daily Press, 23rd December, 1935

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