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January 4, 1965


JAMA. 1965;191(1):47. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080010053020

Illicit, clandestine channels carry most narcotic traffic. Law-enforcement officials are responsible to society for identifying these sources and seeing to it that offenders receive appropriate legal and medical attention. Society's role is to support the law and encourage preventive measures—be they medical, social, or otherwise—and in daily life to do nothing that would make narcotic traffic any easier. It is to this latter responsibility that physicians must address themselves religiously each and every day. Narcotic supplies should be strictly controlled, but too often they are not. An alarming number and variety of materials find their way into trash cans, or are kept only half safe behind locked doors. Drug samples are the best examples of this. Recently, disposable syringes and needles have been added to the list, with a warning—"The claim of once-used syringes to a long and happy afterlife as water-pistols may seem irresistible to every child in the