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May 1978

Minor Tranquilizers: Clinical Correlates of Use in an Urban Population

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago (Dr Uhlenhuth) and Psychopharmacology Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md (Drs Balter and Lipman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(5):650-655. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770290132013

• Rapid growth in the production and prescription of minor tranquilizers has stimulated increasing concern that we live in an "overmedicated" society. Data regarding drug use from a health survey in Oakland, Calif, show that (1) 20% took a minor tranquilizer or sedative during the previous year, 10% daily for a week or more; (2) use was related directly to the amount of distress and dysfunction, to psychologic more than to other types of disturbance, but not to situational stress alone; and (3) taking tranquilizers was only one aspect of a complex pattern of coping behaviors including the almost universal use of some medication, most often a "nonpsychotropic" type.

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