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March 14, 1977

Drug Addiction Among Physicians

Author Affiliations

Sinai Hospital Baltimore

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1076. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380020002

To the Editor.—  The article entitled "Drug Addiction Among Physicians" (236:1372, 1976) describes 46 physicians in Virginia who had come to the attention of the state board of medicine from 1949 to 1974. The authors indicate that this number of physicians is probably "the tip of the iceberg." If the problem of physician addiction approaches that cited in that article as well as in proceedings recently published by the AMA on the disabled physician,1 then one might properly wonder and worry about the rest of that iceberg and its implications for the health of the several thousand Americans receiving care from these addicted physicians.The Drug Committee of the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, in dealing with physicians having problems with poor prescribing of controlled drug substances or personal addiction from 1970 to 1974, worked with only seven physicians in the addicted group out of a total state