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Ridiculously high. A quick search reveals that:

> After about ten years on the market, Valium had been prescribed to 59.3 million patients [0]

The US population in 1970 was about 200 million. A significant portion of the adult US population took valium at some point during the 60s/70s.

[0] https://www.valiumaddiction.com/history-of-v.htm






Interesting. The NYT says 59.3 million prescriptions, not patients. [0] If so the number of patients would presumably be significantly lower, since it is in fact addictive.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/1976/02/01/archives/article-16-no-ti...


Interesting that the numbers are the same, I think it’s just coincidence, they are measuring different things on different time scales. It peaked in 1978 with several billion pills being dispensed in a single year. I had a psych professor that said that 70% of US adults were on Valium at some point during the 70s. Anecdotal but I think it’s in the right ballpark.

Ridiculously high.

Ridiculously high because they were touted as safer alternatives to the then popular barbiturates. Benzos are safer, it just turns out that benzos also have not-so-great long-term effects.




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