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American Medical Association; accompanied by Harry N. Peterson,
Afternoon session, October 6, 1978—Continued
Testimony of Richard Elrod, Sheriff, Cook County, Ill.
accompanied by Michael J. Schaffer, Ph. D., chief toxicologist.Testimony of Thomas B. Kirkpatrick, Jr., executive director, Illinois
Dangerous Drugs Commission.
registration and education, State of Illinois
Bureau of Neuropharmacological Drug Products, Food and Drug
tive Service; and Robert Dormer, General Counsel's Office.Submissions for the record:
Letter to the Select Committee from Jeffrey C. Miller, State of
Illinois, department of public aid.--
several Federal and State agencies-Prepared statements:
Prepared statement of State Senator Richard M. Daley -
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ABUSE OF DANGEROUS LICIT AND ILLICIT DRUGS
TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The Select Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lester L. Wolff (chairman of the Select Committee)
presiding. Present: Representatives Paul G. Rogers, E (Kika) de la Garza, James R. Mann, Charles B. Rangel, Benjamin A. Gilman, Tennyson Guyer, and Robert K. Dornan.
Staff present: Joseph L. Nellis, chief counsel; Howard Wallach, staff counsel; Michael Backenheimer, professional staff member; and Robert M. Orr, researcher.
Mr. WOLFF. The committee will please come to order. Today's hearing on phencyclidine-PCP-is the first of a two-part hearing by the Select Committee on the topic of psychotropic drugs. On Thursday, the committee will examine advertising and retailing by the psychotropic drug industry, and the prescribing practices of the medical profession.
PCP, during the last several years, has increasingly become the drug of choice by many young people, and is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug seen on the streets in a decade.
The number of deaths involving PCP has increased 60 percent from 1976 to 1977, and there has similarly been a 42-percent increase in the number of seized labs. A major enforcement problem with PCP is that it can be easily and inexpensively produced with a few basic chemicals in a makeshift laboratory. One kilogram of PCP can be manufactured with an investment of $500 to $1,500 for chemicals and equipment. Since the wholesale price is $700 an ounce, the manufacturer can reap from $28,000 to $40,000 from his original investment.
The effects of this drug on the user can be devastating. Abusers often enter psychiatric wards exhibiting the symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychoses. Abuse of this drug has the potential of causing violent behavior, delusions, hallucinations, and possible brain damage among PCP users.
The Select Committee today will determine the extent of PCP abuse in this country, as well as the Federal response to this problem.
Specifically, we will examine the difficulties of enforcing the existing laws against this drug, and the approaches used by therapists and treatment centers for an individual suffering the effects of PCP abuse.
The committee, in its oversight capacity, will ascertain whether additional legislative and administrative efforts can effectuate solutions to these problems. I have just recently gotten some information on the problem in the city of New York, for example, in a letter relative to the amount of absenteeism in the city schools of New York.
On any given day, 200,000 children are absent from the city schools of New York. There are 80,000 what are considered hardcore truants. A great percentage of these truants are using PCP, and abusing the substance. It is not only a cost in the lives of the young people who are involved, but the cost to the city of New York is somewhere in the neighborhood of $800,000 per day.
Now this problem is not only one that affects a small portion of the school population, but we have information from the investigations we have been making of the city schools of New York that one out of every three schoolchildren of high school age have tried PCP.
It is a dangerous drug to try, and I think it is incumbent upon those of us who have a responsibility in the drug abuse area to alert the young people of this Nation to the dangers that exist with this drug.
On that score, we are holding these hearings in order to comprehend the complex issues that are involved. We have with us today panels consisting of both Federal officials and private individuals who have a particular knowledge of PCP and its effects, as well as the enforcement and treatment problems connected with this insidious drug.
I am pleased to welcome the witnesses to our hearing. I am also honored to welcome our distinguished colleague, Congressman Norman Mineta, who will testify this morning about PCP problems in his home district, San Jose, Calif.
This afternoon Senator Bentsen from Texas will share with us his views, which will include several legislative proposals.
We are very happy to have you with us today, Mr. Mineta. Before I proceed, I would like to ask Congressman Gilman if he has a statement.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I commend you, Mr. Chairman, for focusing our Select Committee's attention on phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP, or angel dust, the most dangerous drug on the streets today, which has supplemented LSD that was so popular in this Nation more than a decade ago.
PCP is a nonnarcotic synthetic hallucinatory drug. As you stated, Mr. Chairman, it is easy to manufacture this drug. Any of its more than 30 derivatives are available over-the-counter chemicals that are readily obtainable. The profits from the illicit manufacture and sale of this substance have reached gigantic proportions throughout our Nation. As the author of H.R. 11727, a measure that would reclassify phencyclidine from its current schedule II category to a schedule I classification within the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and that would impose certain mandatory prison sentences for those who illicitly manufacture or sell PCP or any of its derivatives, I am pleased to report to the committee that to date 63 Members have cosponsored this proposed legislation, including 20 members of our own Select Committee.
PCP has been found to be a deadly mind-crippling, mind-altering drug, with the ability to induce psychotic and schizophrenic behavior.