Early Drug Treatment

Prior to the 1900s, there were only a handful of successful treatment options available to doctors working in Canadian asylums. Most of the theories they followed were based on those developed in Europe or the United States. When the former London Asylum for the Insane opened in 1870, the superintendent, Dr. Henry Landor, had the limited choice of using potassium bromide, morphine, chloroform, opium, or alcohol to treat a multitude of symptoms, many of which had no clear diagnosis. Most of these drugs were used as sedatives, either to calm patients or induce sleep.