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Emergency Services and Drug Abuse

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National Institute on Drug Abuse, Rockville, Maryland

Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(4):569-570. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-4-569
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The drug addict's and abuser's first encounter with the medical community is most likely to be at the hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, in the past, staffs of hospital emergency rooms have frequently failed in their responsibility to provide adequate and appropriate care to patients with drug abuse emergencies because they lacked knowledge about proper treatment. Other hospitals simply refused to treat the drug abuser because of an unwillingness to deal with this type of person. Even worse, many hospitals maintained a relation with local law enforcement authorities to whom all drug cases were reported. That policy insured that drug abusers,


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