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October 30, 1943


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

Commissioner of Narcotics.

JAMA. 1943;123(9):584. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840440066026

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To the Editor:—  Becuase of the shortage of narcotic drugs in the illicit traffic, drug addicts are calling on members of the medical profession looking for a "soft touch." This is the addict's term for a doctor who will write a narcotic prescription after listening to a plausible tale. Hundreds of such cases are coming to our attention.A drug addict goes into a doctor's office and simulates a bad cough. He tells the doctor that the only thing that will help him is a drug, the name of which he has on a slip of paper. He shows the doctor this slip of paper, on which the word Dilaudid is written. He takes a chance that the doctor is unaware of the fact that this drug is a derivative of morphine. It is surprising how many doctors follow the addict's suggestion and write a prescription for Dilaudid.In another

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