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October 23, 1954


Author Affiliations

Commissioner of Narcotics Bureau of Narcotics Treasury Department Washington 25, D. C.

JAMA. 1954;156(8):787-788. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950080035017

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To the Editor:—  Several years ago a professor of sociology at an American university who is a self-appointed expert on drug addiction, after interviewing a few drug addicts, wrote an article in which he advocated that the United States adopt the British system of handling drug addicts by having physicians write prescriptions for addicts. He reported that this system had abolished the "black market" in narcotics and that consequently there were only 326 drug addicts in the United Kingdom. The professor followed the method used by dictators to "make it simple, say it often"; true or false, the public will believe it. "Adopt the British system" is now urged by all self-appointed narcotic experts who conceal their ignorance of the problem by ostentation of seeming wisdom. The statement was recently used by a Columbia University professor on a television program and in a national press release in advocating this system.

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