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Tranquillisers Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Timeline: 1970's
TIMELINE: 1970s

1970
Doctors are writing 4.8 million prescriptions for Librium in England alone. They also prescribe 4.3 million for Valium and 2.6 million for Mogadon.

By now drug companies and research scientists are becoming aware strong evidence showing benzodiazepines create dependence and have side effects.

Benzodiazepines are poured into a bottle
Prescription levels grow despite warnings against long-term use
The World Health Organisation's Expert Committee on drug dependence argue that the dependence potential of one benzodiazepine, Oxazepam, should be assumed equivalent to that of other benzos as presenting a significant risk to public health.

The data sheets for some benzodiazepines warn against long-term use. Yet they are still being advertised as remedies for a wide range of ailments from sleep deprivation to relieving guilt.

1979
Prescription levels peek with 30 million prescriptions for Benzodiazepines being written in one year.

Panorama: Special report on tranquillisers


BACKGROUND

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TIMELINE
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