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Ridiculous Drugs That Were Once Medicine: Part 2

“Would you like the cocaine, or the opium?”

~God, Doc, you…you just GET it, man


As AFFotD has previously established through meticulous research, the early 20th century and late 19th century were ridiculous, especially when it came down to dangerous drugs that were legally available as “Medicine.”  Physicians back then treated medicinal treatments the same way a ten year old boy treats a make-your-own stir-fry buffet:  Just throw every ridiculous thing you can find in there and hope something appetizing comes out the other end.  The most common diagnosis back then was, “*shrug* probably?”  Doctors in the 19th century hated their patients so much that when they were told, “Hey, maybe wash your hands before performing surgery on people?” they responded with a resounding, “Fuck you.”  Seriously.

Being sick in the 19th and early 20th century was like being the black person in a horror film.  There’s not much of a chance that you’re making it out alive.  And speaking of horror films, most of the medical instruments back then looked like they’re from scenes of Nightmare on Elm Street that were cut out of the film because they were too terrifying.

“…It’s like…Robot Satan’s dick…”

Now, despite the high rate of hospital mortalities and genital mutilation (we can only assume), Olde Tyme Doctors did have one thing going for them.  A willingness to use ridiculous drugs as medicine.  That’s why we’re here to show you even more awesomely terrible medicinal ideas from America’s past.

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Ridiculous Drugs That Were Once Medicine: Part One

“Ah, I see you have a nail in your foot.  Some heroin will cure that right up.”

~Like, just the best doctor ever, you guys, circa 1898

As a rule, the non-crazy members of American society don’t really question what doctors tell us to put in our body, unless the words “Hamster” and “Suppository” are involved.  Got a rusty ticker?  Swallow this white chalky square.  Sinus infection?  Rub some of this nasty smelling ointment on your chest.  You just can’t make the jump from “Utility role player” and “Star slugger” on your professional baseball team?  Just let this guy inject some “Vitamin B12” into your ass cheeks.  It’s called plausible deniability, in case Congress ever asks.

But despite all the weird things we’ll just cram into our bodies without a second of hesitation (“Lupidemitrexeral?  Why, I almost named my daughter that!”) the American pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars on development and research to make sure that their medicine won’t turn you into some sort of pig lizard.  And once they hit that perfect, non-mutation-forming treatment of medical ailments, they’ll do us the favor of charging us out the ass for it.  But we can’t fault them for that, hell we’ll applaud them for finding a way to make big bucks even when times are bad by feeding off our addiction to “living.”  Prescription drugs can cost the arm and leg they were meant to treat because they work, and they work better than anything else at our disposal.  Otherwise, those thousands of rabbits and rats died in those laboratories for nothing.

However, in America, things used to be a bit less “controlled” with “procedures in place to make sure you don’t take mercury for medicinal purposes.”  Which was bad for sick people, but absolutely amazing for people who like to laugh at the mistakes of past generations.  Because, come on, are you serious late 19th Century/early 20th Century!?

Damn, 15 cents?  Who’s THEIR dealer?

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Filed under America's Greatest Fun Facts, Drugs and Medicine