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Chemical Dependency and Adolescence

WILLIAM C. VAN OST, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1085. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490085026.
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Sir.—It was with great enthusiasm that I read Dr Macdonald's article, "Drugs, Drinking, and Adolescence,"1 written in response to the invitation resulting from your own search for an effective way to be of service in the field of chemical dependency. You did so by publishing one of the first comprehensive educational articles on the subject to appear in the pediatric literature.

To those of us who have been attempting to reach out to those families suffering from the disease of chemical dependency, it is refreshing to have a scholarly article published in a major journal that emphasizes that arguments, ambivalence, and a conspiracy of silence have provided little pediatric help for the millions of adolescent victims. Articles like Dr Macdonald's, letters like that by Dr Richard H. Schwartz in the same issue,2 along with recent positive actions by the leadership of the American Academy of Pediatrics addressing

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