Title:

  Tranx: Minor Tranquilizers, Major Problems
 Author:   Jim Parker
Publisher:   Do It Now Foundation

 Publication Date:

  11/00

 Catalog No:

  210

21st Century Chill

Tranquilizers.

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.

What they've 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.

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Read On: Welcome to the 'Age of Anxiety'

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This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health published by Do It Now Foundation. Check us out online at www.doitnow.org.