‘The Pharm’ is a short film that explores the problem of Valium addiction in Finglas, Dublin. The Pharm is currently in post production! Keep an eye on www.sankalpa.ie for details of up coming viewings. If you are worried about your dependency on Valium please consult your GP.
The History of Valium Use
Introduced in 1963, Valium became one of the most widely prescribed tranquilizers over the next 10 years.
Valium had certain benefits over other competitor’s tranquilizers. While all of them worked on the limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions, Valium was less bitter in taste, could be formulated in smaller doses, and provided relief without the expected side effect of drowsiness. Part of Valium’s appeal lay in the belief that it was non-addictive and, unlike other tranquilizers, was almost impossible to be taken in a lethal dose by a suicidal person.
By 1974, Valium represented 81 percent of the tranquilizer market in the United States. However, at this same time, the media presented what they considered rampant abuse of Valium, stating that only about 10 percent of prescriptions for Valium written in 1974 came from mental health professionals and 60 percent to 70 percent of Valium prescriptions came from the family doctor, gynecologists and pediatricians. The media also noted that a disproportionate number of prescriptions were given to women over 30 to control so-called “free-floating” anxiety.
In 1975 when tranquilizer usage in the United States reached its highest level, Valium also began to appear as an illegal “street” drug and became integrated in the American culture through movies and plays. Celebrity usage became apparent when an autopsy report found Valium in Elvis Presley’s system when he died in 1977.
In 1979, awareness was raised again through coverage of the Senate subcommittee hearings during which several well-regarded physicians testified on the dangers of Valium. The Food and Drug Administration forced Hoffman-LaRoche, the manufacturer of Valium, to include the caveat in its medical-journal advertisements for Valium as well as in the information provided to physicians stating that “anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic drug.” This warning went into effect in the summer of 1980.
A 1981 report stated a possible link between Valium use and the rapid growth of cancer cells which had a greater impact on the drug’s popularity with the general public than the subcommittee meetings. However, a research study completed in 2005 showed that over 60 million prescriptions for Valium were written by American doctors and that 1.8 million Americans abused tranquilizers.
For more informaiton see: http://www.valiumaddictionhelp.com