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November 23, 1970

Drug Addiction Prevention Program

JAMA. 1970;214(8):1564. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080144031

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To the Editor.—  As one of our programs in regard to drug addiction, we have attempted to develop a program of prevention. I should like to direct the attention of Journal readers to one of the means by which physicians can contribute to the prevention of this problem through the correct use of addictive agents. We have attempted to formulate the many cautions about addictive drugs into four simple principles so that they can be easily recalled. These principles are as follows.First, use nonaddictive drugs whenever possible. For instance, antihistamines can often be substituted for barbiturates in the production of sedation.Second, use the smallest possible effective dose of an addictive drug, inasmuch as larger doses increase the likelihood of physical dependence.Third, maintain a level dose. The need for an increasing dose to obtain an effect is an indication of developing tolerance. If this occurs, treatment should be