Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Rachel’s Holiday

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 29 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7041
  1. Naomi Devaney, house physician, Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience and the Humanities, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  1. naomi.devaney{at}

Often we encounter patients whose primary problem seems to be addiction to one or more of many substances. Although we are generally well trained to treat the physical aspects of addiction, from ascites to delirium tremens, we are generally less well attuned to the treatment of the source of the addiction.

Popular literature can provide helpful insights to complement those we glean from classic literary accounts, such as Bulgakov’s Morphine,1 and in addition provide a common space that we can share with our patients: both we and they are more likely to have read popular so called …

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