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Drug Abuse and the Emergency Room Physician
Am J Psychiatry 1974;131:559-562.
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Clinical Fellow in Pharmacology and Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass. 02114

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, Mass

1974, The American Psychiatric Association

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Physicians staffing emergency treatment facilities seldom are required to make hasty judgments regarding pharmacotherapy of drug abuse. Unnecessary morbidity frequently results from the use of barbiturates and major tranquilizers in the emergency room. The need for sedatives and tranquilizers should be carefully assessed before they are administered. Drug-induced agitation or panic will often subside spontaneously or in response to reassurance, obviating the need for coadministration of sedatives.

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