( Originally Published 1916 )
LET us suppose there is a Devil.
I do not say there is; but suppose there is, some being, a sort of vicious god, who has a grudge against the human race, who is thoroughly malicious, and takes delight in ruining men and women, and gloats over their physical agonies, mental torments, and spiritual heart-breaks.
If there be such an Evil Spirit, he no doubt considers the HABIT-FORMING DRUG his bright particular masterpiece. For such drugs have produced more misery to the square inch in humanity than any other agency.
In every human being there is implanted the desire for happiness. We all want to "feel good." The normal means for producing the sensation of contentment consists in obeying the laws of hygiene and of morals.
Whoever conforms to the rule of nature as to his body, and of God as to his mind, has inward success; that is, he is cheerful, sound, and strong.
And now comes the Devil and says:
"You want to feel good? Why follow the poky road to health? That takes self-control and will-power. It is hard. I will show you the easi. est way. just swallow this HAPPY DRUG.,"
The Happy Drugs have been known from time immemorial. The oldest is Alcohol. It has got itself woven into the customs and the imagination of the people until many cannot conceive of having a good time without it. It is the expected thing at weddings, wakes, and all manner of celebrations. In vain Intelligence has shown that it is a poison, habit-forming, weakens the heart and hardens the arteries. "What the hell do we care?"
A man requested permission the other day to visit the Tombs prison in New York. Upon searching him the officer found some envelopes containing the drug heroin. In these envelopes were notes addressed to various inmates. One of them read:
"Dear Mac—A little Happy Dust. Regards to Jim and all the boys."
Heroin, a drug allied to morphine, but deadlier and cheaper than either that or cocaine, is the latest dope of the slums, the latest invention of the able and efficient Mr. Devil.
Dr. Jackson R. Campbell, who has been prison physician for some years, says: "Heroin is one of the most desperate dangers that confront our race. The stuff is so cheap—10 cents' worth of it is enough to produce the `sensation' for two or three hours that any boy or girl can afford to buy it. But, once accustomed to it, the user needs more and more, and will commit any crime to get it.
"Within a mile's radius of 149th street and Third avenue, the Bronx," the doctor declared, "there are at least a thousand victims of the heroin habit, including many boys and girls. Po-lice records show many arrests of children for having the stuff."
There may be people who do not believe in Hell, but they are not found among the Happy
Drug users. THEY KNOW THERE IS A HELL. THEY LIVE IN IT.
Let any boy or girl—or grown person, for that matter—who reads this THINK a minute ! THE DRUG THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY IS THE MOST LYING, CHEATING, CRUEL, AND TERRIBLE ENEMY YOU HAVE IN THE WORLD. DON'T TAKE IT !