Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Sister Morphine

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 16 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3806

Facilis Descensus Averno or The Descent To Hell Is Easy (Virgil’s Aeneid)

It’s easy to become addicted, and it’s easy to find fellow addicts. But it’s hard to escape addiction, and it’s hard to find effective help. Why is this? The sad truth is that society is based on addiction and would collapse without it. The entertainment industry is based on promoting and glorifying addiction; the tobacco industry is based on nicotine addiction; the food and beverage industry is based on sugar, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol, cola, and caffeine addiction; and the healthcare industry is based on treating all of this addiction with the addictive products of the pharmaceutical industry. So let’s be honest about the role of addiction in society, and not simply blame the addict, who is really a victim of society's hypocrisy and greed.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests:

24 September 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA