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December 17, 1973

Amphetamines in the District of ColumbiaI. Identification and Resolution of an Abuse Epidemic

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta (Dr. Greene), and the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention, Washington, DC (Dr. DuPont).

JAMA. 1973;226(12):1437-1440. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230120027007

An epidemic of amphetamine abuse occurred in the District of Columbia. The epidemic occurred when heroin became scarce in Washington. It peaked and then ebbed abruptly in September 1972, following introduction of amphetamine control measures. Guidelines used in managing the epidemic included avoidance of scare tactics, reduction of the drug supply, and regulation of the drug suppliers. Drug-abuse "outbreaks" can be identified and controlled.