There are a number of drugs that are taken on a large scale by people who are fundamentally fine. Alcohol and marijuana come to mind. There is a rich history of others. Valium, which was introduced in 1963, had become the best-selling prescription drug in America by 1979. Fifty years ago, Big Pharma saw a business opportunity in the changing cultural landscape. The pace of life was accelerating, competition was becoming more intense, and we were at risk of losing our identity in a strange, new environment. Why not slay our inner demons with a pill, and medicate the way to a happy place? Each generation had its own flavor; first there was the anxiety-ridden Librium-Valium-Xanax group. The baby boomers found this depressing, and turned to Prozac-Paxil-Zoloft. The Millennials have adopted a sophisticated multi-drug approach, using alcohol as a social lubricant, Ritalin-Adderall-Vyvanse to shorten hangovers and improve grades, and marijuana to quell the anxiety. Now that Obamacare has arrived, where will Big Pharma take us next?
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