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August 3, 1963

Amphetamine Addiction in Japan

JAMA. 1963;185(5):414. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060050092040

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To the Editor:—  I have just returned (May 22) from a medical meeting in Japan in which several Japanese psychiatrists told of the high incidence of amphetamine addiction in their country. Apparently amphetamines were used extensively during World War II to stimulate civilians as well as soldiers to greater effort. At any rate, amphetamines were readily available after the war, and, according to Goto, there were at least 200,000 amphetamine addicts in Japan by 1954. At this time the Japanese government put strict limitations on the manufacturing and distribution of these drugs with a resultant sharp drop in the number of addicts.Tatetsu studied 492 Japanese methamphetamine addicts in whom the drug was used intravenously over a period of 3 months to 1 1/2 years. Chronic psychoses resulted in many of these addicts, some of whom have been permanently affected, with experimental and clinical evidence of organic brain damage. Methamphetamine

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