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December 1991 (Volume 69)
Robert J. Levine
Milbank Memorial Fund
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Any attempt at medicalization of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other psychoactive substances of abuse in the United States is likely to encounter strong opposition by many responsible physicians. Such opposition would be grounded in their perception that medicalization would be contrary to the purposes of medical practice. Most physicians would, however, be willing to consider prescribing such substances for pathological users if such prescribing took place within the context of a fully developed doctor-patient relationship in which the patient recognized the dependency as undesirable and wanted to cooperate with the physician in a mutual effort to end the dependency or, if this were not feasible, to mitigate its destructive effects.
Author(s): Robert J. Levine
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Volume 69, Issue 4 (pages 623–640) Published in 1991
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The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.