DRUG ABUSE by Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry


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A slim, synthesizing monograph by a G.A.P. study committee assessing the current drug abuse problem and offering several sensible though hardly startling recommendations. Misuse of drugs has reached the point where ""many persons are in chemically ecstatic nightmares""; peer-group pressure, the youth rebellion, the media and ""pop"" music (Agnew's complaint), and physicians too hasty with the prescription pad are the main provocateurs. The Group then reviews the principal scientific data concerning psychoactive drugs: pot is not addictive, nor has a causal relationship between violent crime and the drug been established, but legalization would increase consumption to alcohol levels, H is harmful to both users and the unborn, etc. The most enervating problem however, from the G.A.P.'s point of view, is the old conflict between law enforcement and medical attitudes (criminal vs. patient) and it colors the major recommendations which include the need for greater freedom to study physio-psychological effects of drug use and the concentration of enforcement against producers and dealers, not users. These suggestions have been around since Mary Jane became an outlaw in 1937 (even the Nixon team endorses attacking the problem at the production/distribution point); but the book's readability and the Group's authority do give it cursory value.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Scribners