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October 21, 1988

Drug War Intelligence Gathering: Risky, but Useful to Physicians

JAMA. 1988;260(15):2169-2170. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150017002

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A PATIENT in the emergency department says he has been taking milk, and he doesn't mean the homogenized, pasteurized kind. How can a physician find out what he has taken?

The patients in most practices are asking more questions about illicit drugs, but physicians may not be aware which of these are circulating in the community. How do they get more information?

If you live in New York City, you might call William Hopkins.

Hopkins is the supervisor of the Street Research Unit in the New York State Division of Substance Abuse Services. The unit, the only one of its kind, has been so successful that the National Institute on Drug Abuse has contacted Hopkins about starting similar programs in other parts of the country.

At a recent American Academy of Pediatrics meeting, Hopkins spoke about his unit and the drug information it gathers on the street. He says more