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May 21, 1973

Tranquilizer Control

Author Affiliations

St. Vincent's Hospital New York

JAMA. 1973;224(8):1190. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220220088030

To the Editor.—  We read with pleasure, and then dismay, the letter by Blackwell (223:798, 1973) concerning our article on tranquilizer control in a clinic population (221:1504, 1972).Dr. Blackwell fears the void created by our diminished prescribing of minor tranquilizers may have been filled by increased prescribing of barbiturates and phenothiazines. There was no such increase in our study. Prescriptions for phenobarbital, the only barbiturate prescribed with any frequency, declined by approximately two thirds.Dr. Blackwell's concern that our patients may be driven to seek the same drugs outside the clinic or resort to increased use of alcohol is well taken. It was for this reason that we tried to substitute counseling for tranquilizers and mailed appeals and information packets to all other physicians in our community. Further, a proposal for an alcohol treatment program submitted at the time of the study was recently funded and has begun operation