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July 30, 1932

DRUG ADDICTION AND MEASURES FOR ITS PREVENTION IN THE UNITED STATES

Author Affiliations

Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Division of Mental Hygiene WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1932;99(5):372-379. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740570018006
Abstract

The better orientation of public policies adopted for the solution of the so-called narcotic drug problem involves a knowledge of when, where and under what circumstances addiction occurs.

The practice of indulging in habit-forming drugs, like the problem of chronic alcoholism and mental disorders, is not limited to any one class of society; the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the weak and the strong are all represented. It has been estimated that 80 per cent of the present addiction occurs in the land of "Hobohemia," or in the underworld. This estimate is probably based on the fact that drug addicts of the underworld are more apt to come under observation, whereas those of the so-called middle and upper classes are usually inaccessible for observation, and the incidence of addiction is unknown.

It is interesting to observe that repeated prison sentences are imposed more often on drug addicts than

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