The authors present five case histories illustrating controlled use of
opiates ("chipping"). Long-term chippers tend to develop consistent social
use patterns that permit and also limit use. The authors conclude that
controlled use of opiates is possible and that large numbers of people are
involved in such use, although they are hard to locate and identify.
Controlled users are differentiated from compulsive users more by their
development and maintenance of social drug use rituals than by such
variables as availability of the drug and personality and family background
of the user.