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The medical work in a voluntary drug rehabilitation unit near Glasgow was examined. During one year 174 residents were admitted of whom 103 (59%) developed illnesses which required medical treatment. The need for drug misusers to receive general medical services during and after drug misuse was confirmed. Although withdrawal from barbiturate misuse required the prescription of controlled drugs, opiate and other withdrawals were satisfactorily managed with psychological support and general care; substances which could be abused were not prescribed. Blood testing of 129 residents showed that 114 (88%) had evidence of previous hepatitis B infection, while only two had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody. The low prevalence of HIV antibody compared with the high prevalence that has been reported in Edinburgh suggests that the opportunity exists at the moment to limit the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome among Glasgow drug misusers.