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Abuse of Amphetamines

George R. Edison, MD
JAMA. 1968;205(12):882-883. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140380086027.
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To the Editor:—  The amphetamines have been in widespread use for over 30 years. A list of indications for their use might include weight control, narcolepsy, parkinsonism, depressive reactions, epilepsy, and central nervous system depression due to poisoning by barbiturates and other drugs.Over and over we have heard that these are useful drugs in the practice of medicine but should be used only under medical supervision. In recent years a remarkable change has occurred in the pattern of usage of amphetamines. Gradually the list of legitimate medical indications for them has shrunk either because better drugs are available (as in parkinsonism, epilepsy, and depressive reactions), or because no drugs are as safe and rational as other methods of treatment (such as artificial ventilation and circulation support in barbiturate intoxication), or because their use is unsafe and ineffective (as in the case of obesity).At the same time the improper


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