William Stewart Halsted

image of William Halsted
The "father of American surgery" took morphine for the last thirty years of his extremely successful life. From 1889, William Stewart Halsted was first chief of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1892 he was promoted to Professor of Surgery. Halsted's drug habit was revealed in William Osler's posthumously published The Inner History of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Few of Halsted's colleagues had any idea that their brilliant mentor was addicted to morphine.

Halsted had ready access to inexpensive, high-grade morphine. So he did not encounter some of the problems common to users of street narcotics in prohibitionist society.

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