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75 Depressants

The battered parent syndrome states treatable by prescribing their products. For example, ads in medical journals recommended Librium for the college girl whose "newly stimulated intellectual curiosity may make her more sensitive to and apprehensive about unstable national and world conditions" (in other words, pop a Librium if the news freaks you out). Other ads have suggested giving tranquilizers to harried mothers and bored housewives, to "the woman who can't get along with her new daughter-in-law," and to "the newcomer in town who can't make friends."

Critics of this kind of salesmanship point out that women seem to be targets far more often than men. Just as pharmaceutical companies encouraged doctors to prescribe amphetamines to depressed housewives in the 1960s, they have since urged doctors to give Valium, Librium, and Miltown to anxious women. Increasing opposition to these practices has curtailed them to some extent.

Pharmaceutical companies have sometimes invented new diseases to sell their products. Manufacturers of the minor tranquilizers were especially creative, as this example from the 1960s shows.

From Chocolate to Morphine 76


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