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January 25, 1919


JAMA. 1919;72(4):262-263. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610040028009

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The subject of drug addiction has come to occupy a place of considerable importance, not only in civil life but in the military and naval service as well, and constant efforts are being made to reclaim these derelicts and to prevent the spread of the habit.

In this campaign, the importance of an early and positive diagnosis of drug addiction cannot be overestimated. The addict is regarded, and rightly, as being untrustworthy, unreliable and as a particularly dangerous person to engage in any hazardous occupation. His participation in any naval or military undertaking would expose others as well as himself to the possibility of serious consequences.

From the standpoint of the prophylaxis of drug addiction, the addict himself is responsible in many cases for enlisting new recruits. This tendency to spread the habit is believed to be more prevalent than is generally recognized. In some cases it takes the form

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