Assault and Homicide Associated with Amphetamine Abuse
BY EVERETT H. ELLINWOOD, JR., M.D.
“Mrs. C was in this type of emotionally labile state at the time of the shooting. “I hadn’t slept for four days, was constantly active, and was taking pills like a chicken with its head cut off.” (She was taking 600-1200 mg. per day.) Just before the incident, she told her paramour that she was going to leave for good. Teasingly, he said that he would bring his new girl friend by. “I was wild inside like a caged animal, but calmly told him that he never would. He asked how I would stop him and I told him I’d kill him and I did.”
“One 27-year-old Caucasian man who used large doses of speed intravenously, along with LSD, developed an acute state of paranoid panic, which was potentiated by his group of Negro companions. Although he overinterpreted the gestures and behavior of those around him, it was a fact that the group of “speed freaks” he was running with did treat him as an outsider and often threatened him with guns and knives. He feared that they would not only kill him but also kill his daughter, who lived in another city. They apparently enjoyed playing with his suspicions, and they also used his delusions to induce him to “hustle” money for them.”
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