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The New York Times April 15, 1919

80,000 in Draft Were Rejected by National Army, Rainey Tells Parole Board.
Prohibition a Disturbing Factor-- State Commission Joins Local health Department Campaign.

There are in New York City alone 8,000 men between 21 and 31 years old who are drug addicts, while elsewhere there were 80,000 in the first draft for the National Army, it was disclosed yesterday in a report made public by the New York City Parole commission.

The report on this point said:

"Congressman Rainey, who is a most active worker against this evil, and who has labored with the United States Treasury Department on new legislation to amend the Harrison Narcotic drug act of 1914, has brought out some astounding facts on this subject. He offers the opinion that since the only weapon of the Federal authorities is for preventative purposes and to restrict the sale of drugs through revenue enactments, the real fight must be made by State and municipal authorities. Speaking of young men of draft age, he says it was found that there were 80,000 drug addicts in the first draft, all of whom needed medical attention.

"They were rejected by camp officers as incompetent and, worse still, young men deliberately acquired the drug habit to escape the draft. He has a list of twenty-five physicians who were commissioned as Captains and Majors who are drug addicts, and also the name of a physician so commissioned who started for France with a large amount of narcotics to be dealt out among soldiers. In New York City a list has been made up of 8,000 men between 21 and 31 who are drug addicts. The Congressman regards the newly enacted prohibition laws as a certain source of still greater drug addiction."

Accompanying the report of the Commission was a letter written by Alexander McKinny, its Chairman, in which it was asserted that an ex-convict now on parole had declared that he visited the Department of Health's Bureau of Drug Addiction Clinic at 145 Worth Street the other day and obtained a portion of drug which he "split" with "pals" who were waiting outside.

Chairman McKinny declared the custodial method, in his opinion, was the only way to treat addicts, and he said he could not endorse the Health Department's system of establishing public clinics.

Whatever their virtue, yesterday again indicated that the clinic in Worth Street was popular with the drug victims. From the time it opened until the doors were barred 1,000 addicts of both sexes came to get their daily portion of narcotics. It was announced by Health Commissioner Copeland that to date 2,500 persons have been treated at the clinic, and the chances were that the daily visitation would continue to increase.

This morning the State narcotic Commission will open an office in the Department of Health building, 139 Centre Street. Ex-Senator George H. Whitney, Deputy Commissioner of Drug Control, will be in charge and will undertake an immediate checking up of drug prescriptions. The Commissioner is empowered under the Boylan anti-drug law to conduct hearings in the cases of physicians suspected of irregular practice in drugs, and, upon a conviction, to revoke the doctor's license to issue narcotic prescriptions.

At the meeting which decided upon this step were Commissioners Copeland and Whitney, former Senator Walter R. Herrick, who has been nominated by Governor Smith to head the State Narcotic Commission and whose confirmation by the Senate is expected by tomorrow at the latest; Police Inspector Joseph Faurot, Lieutenant Henry Scherb of the Narcotic Squad and Justice Cornelius F. Collins of Special Sessions, who is Chairman of the New York State and City Magistrates' Committee on the Drug Evil.

Justice Collins and William F. Fetherston, counsel to the Health Department, pointed out that the conference might as well not attempt to frame an amendment to the State Sanitary Code, since full power to regulate issuance of narcotic prescriptions was vested by law in the State Commission.

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