Prescription-Drug Abuse

Archive Report

Extent of the Problem

Valium Use Down, but Still Worrisome

The recently released movie “I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can,” starring actress Jill Clayburgh, is based on a book by the same name.1 Both the book and the movie are about a woman who overcomes an addiction to the tranquilizer Valium. Although the film was not favorably reviewed by most critics, it did help focus attention on Valium's addictive properties (see p. 436). It also worried Hoffman-La Roche, the pharmaceutical company in Nutley, N.J., that makes the drug. “While [the movie] portrays blatant misuse of Valium, the viewing public might infer that this could occur with normal use of the drug,” said company spokesman Kenneth Berkowitz.2

Hoffman-La Roche decided against legal action, but did send letters ...

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