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March 22, 1971

Amphetamine Effects

JAMA. 1971;215(12):1987-1988. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180250079030

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To the Editor.—  Your recent MEDICAL NEWS section of The Journal (214:2260, 1970) has provoked some thoughts. First, the beneficial effects of amphetamines in the treatment of hyperkinetic children are described. According to several psychiatrists, these drugs appear to be the cure-all for simple problems that were formerly handled with a little authority and discipline in the classroom. I rather doubt that there was a true improvement of intelligence and achievement as was suggested by these tests. The reassuring statement was made "that most children outgrew the condition by their sixteenth year." This would then be the ideal age to switch over to the amphetamines, not as a treatment for the hyperkinetic syndrome but to get "highs" or to "go on trips" as is stated in an article in the very same section (214:2263) about "New 'Street Drugs' Add to Physician's Problems." As a nonpsychiatrist at times involved