Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


Societal attitudes with respect to mood altering agents have undergone cyclical changes through American history. Cycles of relative tolerance and intolerance affect the perception of psychotropic drugs for illicit use, as well as legitimate medical therapy, often creating confusion between these two realms. This article examines the relationship between the prevailing social climate and the subsequent restrictions placed on the use of opiates. Historical attitudes toward opiate use serve as a model to explore the current social climate as it pertains to the pharmacologic treatment of anxiety. The under treatment of anxiety disorders is hypothesized to result largely from social myths concerning both the nature and treatment of these conditions.

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