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June 1970

internal at large medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1970;125(6):937-948. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310060015002

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Drug abuse  Studies reported at recent scientific meetings add to the store of information about the perils of drug abuse. They deal with risk of death from injections of impure heroin and the greater incidence of abnormal offspring in mothers taking lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) during pregnancy.Ralph W. Richter, MD, and colleagues from New York report that more heroin addicts are dying suddenly—some are found with the needles still in their arms—and that many of the victims have cerebral edema. Cheston M. Berlin, MD, and Cecil B. Jacobson, MD, of George Washington University School of Medicine, found an extremely high incidence of birth defects among the children of mothers who had taken LSD.Dr. Berlin, who gave his report at the meeting of the Society for Pediatric Research, declined to say LSD is a mutagen. "All I can say is that birth defects were more common among these children,"

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