The First Popular Psychoactive Drug for People Who Were Basically Fine

Robin Marantz Henig explains the significance of Valium: It as one of the first psychoactive drugs to be used on a large scale on people who were basically fine.

Taking a pill to feel normal, even a pill sanctioned by the medical profession, led to a strange situation: it made people wonder what “normal” really was. What does it mean when people feel more like themselves with the drug than without it? Does the notion of “feeling like themselves” lose its meaning if they need a drug to get them there?

  • John

    Point of note, I would say alcohol, caffeine, and various naturally occurring alkaloids were psychoactive drugs in use by the basically fine for thousands of years.