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Evaluation and Treatment of the Suspected Drug User in the Emergency Room

Gregory G. Dimijian, MD; Felipe A. Radelat, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1970;125(1):162-170. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310010164022.
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In increasing numbers patients are coming to hospital emergency rooms with drug-related symptoms. Abuse of psychotropic agents has now spread to incidental abuse of nonpsychotropic agents as well, with the experimental self-administration of almost any chemical compound or consumer product which is available. It is even common for youngsters to ingest or inject an unknown agent in an attempt to flirt with the unexpected, in the manner that youngsters of earlier generations boarded a train without knowing the destination. Accordingly, there is an increasing awareness on the part of physicians of a need for more concise and accurate information pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of the condition of the suspected drug user.1 This communication is designed to assist physicians staffing the emergency room area to appreciate current concepts of the evaluation and treatment of the suspected drug user.

Commonly Abused Drugs  It is understandable that most drugs abused


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