Saturday, September 10, 2005

Justice Rehnquist - drug dependent

The stereotypical image sold by prohibitionists of drug addicts is one of some seedy low-life shooting up in a dirty alley and breaking into your homes to steal in order to feed their habits, but the truth is addiction knows no class divides. There are upper class addicts; they just get hooked on "high class" prescription drugs.

No one is immune. Take Justice William Rehnquist for instance. It's been little noted in reams of accolade rich obits but Rehnquist was a seriously out of control Placidyl addict.
What is Placidyl? Some news clips, such as the Boston Globe obit, call it a painkiller. Yes, it's a painkiller—in the sense that a fistfull of Ambien is a pain killer. You take it and it knocks you out. Placidyl is a "sedative-hypnotic" developed to help insomniacs sleep. See this period advertisement for Placidyl and this one, too. The abuse potential of Placidyl has always been rated as high: An associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University told the Post in 1986 that it was "a strong drug I would use only under very exceptional circumstance" and that he wouldn't give it to people for more than one or two weeks. He added that it shouldn't be given to patients who suffered both pain and insomnia.
Unsurprisingly, the DEA never bothered his doctor about overprescribing medication. Why do you think we call it the war on some drugs?


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