I take Lorazepam, known colloquially as Ativan. I take it because I suffer from anxiety and insomnia and Lorazepam, working as a depressant, calms my happy ass down. I feel groggy and indifferent after a dose and I suppose those reactions make taking the drug a success. I have a prescription for it, therefore it's an "OK" drug.
Anyway, I was inspired to write something on the topic of prescription drugs after hearing the dearly departed Heath Ledger got nominated for a Golden Globe for his kickass performance in "The Dark Knight." Ledger, of course, died in January from a prescription drug overdose. Among the panoply of drugs found in the 28-year-old's system was our good friend Lorazepam. Just for the hell of it, I googled Anna Nicole Smith's death and what do ya know? Lorazepam was also found in her body.
Of course, Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith died from a combination of drugs (and a lot of them), not just from one anti-anxiety pill. But the bigger point here is where do we draw the line between an "OK" drug, like Lorazepam, and a "bad" drug like, oh, heroin? Drug overdose is now the second leading cause of accidental deaths among U.S. adults and obviously, that doesn't just include crack and other "street" drugs.
I'm certainly not implying that we should ban prescription drugs- I, for one, need my Lorazepam and I know others who need their pills, too. I'm actually one of those crazy liberals who say the war on drugs is a joke. I guess the problem I have is with perception. It's like prescription drugs are the "white collar" drugs (re: not that bad) and crack and smack are "inner city" drugs (re: the real problem). It's almost analogous to the dual bailouts: Wall Street/white collar America gets theirs without question while the car companies/blue collar America just gets their asses spanked.