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The New York Times September 13, 1918


Investigating Committee Finds
Use Rampant in the Army.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12.--- Habitual use of morphine, cocaine, heroin, and preparations containing other narcotic drugs has increased rapidly In the United States within the last two years, and a drastic anti-narcotic law must be enacted at this session of Congress to check the wholesale spread of the habit. These are the conclusions made public today by a special Treasury investigating committee, together with a partial report on the number of drug addicts actually under physicians' treatment

The investigations of the committee, which is headed by Representative Rainey of Illinois, showed that thousands of drafted men have been dismissed from military camps after it was found that they were drug addicts, and that this included many who systematically developed the habit after being drafted in order to insure dismissal. This condition is one reason given for the urgency of immediate remedial legislation.

The necessary measures already have been embodied in the new Revenue bill, the committee reported, providing for registration of manufacturers and dealers in proprietary medicines containing compounds of narcotic drugs as well as the pure drug. The measure also would tax these preparations, provide means of keeping track of great quantities dispensed annually, and stop the loopholes through which thousands of violators are said to escape under the Harrison anti-narcotic act.

Hundreds of agents of the Internal Revenue Bureau, acting for the investigating committee, have reported detailed Information concerning consumption of morphine, cocaine, heroin, or medicines containing similar alkaloids, and on these reports is based the estimate that at least 1,500,000 persons in the United States are drug addicts, of whom 1,000,000 are known as such in their communities, and the balance secret drug users. Full reports are expected to show 200,000 known users within the former draft ages of 21 and 31 in New York alone.

Some army officers have been found to be habitual users of morphine, and to have purchased supplies to take to France with them.