Amphetamines constitute largest drug problem in Seattle's University District as of January 7, 1968.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/24/2001
  • Essay 3306
On January 7, 1968, Lee Kirschner, director of the Open Door Clinic, states that amphetamine use is the largest drug problem in the University District. LSD, heroin, and marihuana use have increased as well. A new drug, called the "Peace Pill" has also appeared, but its identity has not been determined.

The Open Door Clinic was a volunteer social service agency at 12th Avenue NE and NE 38th Street, established to help drug users and other persons with problems. The staff included four psychiatrists, eight physicians, 12 registered nurses, four laboratory technicians, and University of Washington graduate students in social work. Professional case workers and drug counselors served there also. Kirschner described the clinic as "a multidisciplinary, multiservice agency bringing head and heart to bear on problems of alienated youth."

The center also assisted juvenile runaways by providing them shelter and putting them in touch with their parents.

The board of directors included medical doctors, including children's psychiatrist Dr. James McDermott (b. 1936), who later was elected to Congress.

The clinic opened on October 24, 1967, in response to the need to provide drug abuse intervention and social services 24-hours-a-day to young people drawn to the University District's hippie culture in the 1960s and 1970s. The clinic closed in 1980 for lack of funding.

Sources: Hilda Bryant, "'Peace Pill' Use Spreads in District," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 1, 1968, p. 16; "Party to Commemorate the ODC," The Seattle Times, October 23, 1980, B-3.

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