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being in possession of restricted drugs, obtained without a prescription.

The sergeant was sympathetic. He took me out of earshot of the young constrable at the counter:

"The best thing that you can do is to bail him out and get him to a hospital quickly," he advised, "they can pump him out and save his life this time." He shook his head, "I've seen a lot of this. He'll be dead within a year."

I signed the bail papers, the constable unlocked the cell, and we half carried, half dragged Peter out through the main swinging glass doors, down some steps and across the footpath to the Commodore.

Gabby was concerned by Peter's appearance -- she had seen many drug overdoses during her nursing. Peter was delirious, and we could not get him to tell us what quantity of drugs he had actually taken. Royal North Shore Hospital had a special drug unit, and so we headed towards it, rather than to the local hospitals.

At the brightly lit casuality ward, we were met by a nervous looking young intern in a white coat. He asked us what Peter's problem was. We explained that he had swallowed an unknown quantity of various drugs. Peter had been dropped into a chair. In black "punk" clothing with his head lolling, his legs stuck straight out in front of him, he was an alarming sight. The intern cautiously approached him, and asked

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