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Drugs and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Roger W. Sherman, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1973;131(4):604-605. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.00320100132021.
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Hippie communes, pot-smoking in college dormitory rooms, rock festivals, street corner heroin selling, mainlining, and pictures of death from overdose are prominent features of the drug problem today. These represent the most dramatic aspect of a widespread, national and personal problem—drug misuse.

The use of drugs to solve common problems of everyday living is not limited to the marihuana-smoking college student or the alcoholic derelict on East 9th Street, Cleveland. Mind-affecting drugs are a daily part of the lives of millions of Americans of all ages, occupations, and social classes. People use coffee to wake up and alcohol to calm themselves down. Some use medicated shampoos to relieve themselves of worry about possible "flaking, seborrhea, or psoriasis." Others rely on over-the-counter tranquilizers and sedatives to control tension and get to sleep. Physicians prescribe millions of dollars worth of tranquilizers, amphetamines, sedatives, and hypnotics each year. We are a nation of


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