Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Unacceptable face of private practice: prescription of controlled drugs to addicts.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 11 June 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1876
  1. T Bewley,
  2. A H Ghodse


    Self administered questionnaires completed by 69 out of 100 consecutive drug addicts attending two drug dependence clinics suggested that some private general practitioners were easily persuaded to prescribe controlled drugs. These drugs were usually methadone, dipipanone-cyclizine (Diconal), and methylphenidate (Ritalin). Numbers of new narcotic addicts notified to the Home Office confirmed the practice, which may lead to a severe spread of addiction, as occurred in the 1960s with heroin and cocaine. If the General Medical Council or a tribunal set up in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 cannot stop the practice, then the present licensing system should be extended to include all controlled drugs.