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Jelliffe, S.E. (1944). Two Morphine Color Dreams: with a Note on the Etiology of the Opium Habit. Psychoanal. Rev., 31(2):128-132.

(1944). Psychoanalytic Review, 31(2):128-132

Two Morphine Color Dreams: with a Note on the Etiology of the Opium Habit

Smith Ely Jelliffe, M.D.

Considering the great amount that has been written about the pleasures of opium it is strange how little definite information can be obtained concerning them.

Under the general term “euphoria” has been grouped the pleasurable sensations of this and other potent drugs. This euphoria is sometimes described as a sense of warmth that fills the entire consciousness; it is called a blissful state of tranquillity; others have spoken of the sharpening of the intellect; the power of enhancing the working capacity is marked. Again some patients say that there is both a physical and psychical sense of contentment, pain and discomfort vanish, the pleasures of living are perceived and all unpleasant sensations are for the time being eliminated.

It has frequently been said that in order to arrive at some definite conclusions regarding the causes of the habit a full understanding of the different types of euphoria is of service, and it is with some such idea in view that the present brief note has been prepared, as a contribution to the psychical symptomatology of a type of euphoria concerning which I can find little on record. Indeed as expressed in the opening sentence, we find many generalizations concerning this euphoria but few recorded actual observations of the type of euphoria experienced.

Euphoria is a general term; it simply signifies well being, general content, and it seems not impossible with the present mass of literature to make some sort of a classification of the types of euphoria experienced by the opium taker.

At the very outset it has seemed to me that a sharp line of demarcation should be drawn between the sensations of the habitue and the non-habitue. The former, for the most part, has referred his power to distinguish the sensations that are produced by the drug.

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