During the Civil War, military hospitals regarded as opioids to be vital medication. Medical practitioners and nurses used opium and morphine to treat soldiers’ agony, stop inner bleeding and mitigate vomiting and diarrhea caused by infectious ailments. Even so, this led some troopers to build opioid addictions, both in the course of the war or afterward when they sought health care remedy for wartime accidents or illnesses.

For a lot of Civil War veterans, opioid addictions had been lifetime-ruining. Veterans’ dependency produced them fatigued and emaciated, and could guide to a lethal overdose. In some cases, opioid dependancy could threaten a veteran’s capacity to receive a pension. In 1895, a Union veteran named Charles L. Williams said in an application to a soldiers’ dwelling that he was “totally unable to generate a living” given that he experienced “contracted [the] opium behavior through war.”