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August 17, 1970

Rarity of Drug Problems During Political Protest

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1970;213(7):1193. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170330073018

To the Editor:—  The Vietnam Moratorium of Nov 13, 14, and 15, 1969, brought to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area between 180,000 and 800,000 people from all parts of this country and some from abroad. Anticipating this large influx of people, a group of local physicians provided facilities for emergency medical and psychiatric care. The organization and methods of providing emergency care under these circumstances have been described elsewhere (T. M. Chused, et al, unpublished data; W. T. Carpenter, et al, unpublished data). Medical and government officials expected adverse drug reactions (bad trips) to be a significant problem since large numbers of young people would be present. Records were kept so data would be available regarding the nature of psychiatric problems encountered. These data indicate that the reported difficulty from drug use was quite small.Only 29 people were evaluated and treated at the emergency treatment facility during the three-day