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July 15, 1950


JAMA. 1950;143(11):973-974. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910460031013

Drug addiction has not received the serious consideration in recent years that it deserves. At the turn of the century much fiction was written in which narcotic addicts played a sinister role, a fact which indicated an awareness of the prevalence of this problem. World War I and the fabulous twenties also focused some attention on this outlet for human weakness. Narcotic traffic at that time was not as well controlled as was desirable. Law enforcement did not provide a fully restraining influence.

For some years, possibly because of the effectiveness of work done by the Bureau of Narcotics and state and local agencies, there has been a feeling of false security and an attitude adopted in some quarters that drug addiction does not constitute much of a health problem. Lack of knowledge has undoubtedly contributed to much of this indifference. Nevertheless, a serious problem does exist as is evident