On paper, they
didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
It was all supposed
to be so simple: You just turn down the customary stress and
static of everyday life by popping a sunny yellow or sky-blue
pill three or four times a day, then watch your worries disappear
into space. No muss, no fuss, no complicated coping or unnecessary
figuring-out of feelings, and certainly no side effects, snide
effects, or otherwise-implied effects.
Too bad that’s
only the way it was on paper.
Because in real
life, tranquilizers never worked that way — at least not only
that way. In real life, real people have had real problems —
and in some cases, the most real problems of their lives — because
they reached for the prescription bottle of Valium or Tranxene
or Ativan a time or two too often.
That’s why we
put together this booklet. Because the minor tranquilizers turned
out to be something other than the bluebirds of happiness (or
yellow birds or green-and-black birds, depending) that their
promoters — and millions of the rest of us — hoped they were
going to be just a few decades ago.
turned out to be instead is a complex group of drugs that can
cause a complex group of problems when they’re misused or overprescribed.
And they have been misused (by millions of people) and they have
been overprescribed (by tens of thousands of doctors). And they
have caused problems, more than their share of problems, in fact-especially
to people who didn’t know what they were getting into when they
got into Valium or Serax or one of the other “minor tranquilizers.”
Because the minor
tranquilizers are “minor” in name only. In reality,
they’re a major problem for thousands of users, one that doesn’t
go away just because those thousands of people don’t like where
they got stuck when they got stuck trading their feelings —
and large or small parts of their lives — for tranquilizer prescriptions.
We hope you’ll
find a comfortable chair and spend a little time with the rest
of “Tranx.” What you don’t know about the minor tranquilizers
might surprise you. And what you will know by the time you finish
reading this booklet may just help prevent problems from happening
to you — or to someone you care about.