Thursday, September 04, 2008

In praise of Valium

During the 70's my mum and gran lived together in domestic harmony.

However, the GP decided to prescribe Valium for both of them - it was the fashion. He gave them regular prescriptions for shipping loads of the stuff.

Naturally having been through rationing, the depression and only having a black and white telly, they took all that was offered and kept most of it in a drawer.

They would say 'Help yourself luv' whenever I visited.
None of us became addicted - but we all enjoyed it now and again.

So I'm not surprised at yesterday's news that the heroin users are using it as a cheap alternative.

Many years later mum was able to get Valium 'on demand' - probably because she was too old to matter much.

So I always had some in my bedside drawer.

It reduced my 'blue arsed fly' behaviour and helped me concentrate to get through a pile of marking or reports. If I was still awake at 2 am - half a tablet would send me to sleep. The pain of tension headaches and migraine was eased considerably.

*I didn't become addicted*

The tablets would stay in the drawer for months - untouched until needed.
I loved knowing they were there for a rainy day.

But many people became dependent in the seventies - it was the fault of the medical profession.

Most doctors don't prescribe Valium now.

The replacement - Prozac type tranquillisers are taken every day and the effect accumulates gradually. The patient has no input or control.
Which is better?



Blogger Dave said...

Morphine tablets have a similar effect for me. I only take them for the pain, honest.

7:18 am  
Blogger Steve said...

I don't want a cheap alternative. I'm a heroin snob.

7:26 am  
Blogger tony said...

When I was a Kid they used to prescribe methodrine to control Asthma attacks.I used to love those wee devils!"Never Did Me Any Harm........"

7:39 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Opium, Morphine and Heroin are much the same thing

aren't they?
All from those lovely poppies.

And I bet you only drink vintage wines.

That's 'crystal meth' now isn't it?
Bet you wish you'd stashed a few bottles.

9:10 am  
Blogger Murph said...

I'm worried about this "blue arsed fly" behaviour Kaz.

Did you run round light bulbs and defecate on cream buns? Did you try cognative behavioural therapy?

9:30 am  
Blogger garfer said...

I swear by Tamazepam, cider, and Aftershock - consumed in that order.

Works for me every time.

9:41 am  
Blogger BEAST said...

The Beast is a purist , having seen too many friends and relatives completely feck up there lives by opting for the 'quick fix' , adopting the lazy way rather than sorting their problems or searching for a cheap high.
In general it ends in addiction and mysery all round . So I think your pop a pill in extreme circumstances otherwise get a grip and sort yaself out is the best way
****shakes Ma Beasty and gives her a sound slapping to ward off hysteria***

Maybe a career in the caring professions is not well starred for the Beast :-(.

10:31 am  
Blogger Can Bass 1 said...

My dear - you must try claret. Taken in prodigious quantities it has the same effect, combined with the advantage of tasting nice.

12:01 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

I can't sleep without antihistamines now. It's lucky I've got all those allergies, isn't it?

My first hit of my anti-anxiety pill made me really anxious as I was chattering and shaking like a good'un. I'm alright now but I definitely need a daily dose.

1:23 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

A friend had a prescription for Valium and I tried one but it had absolutely no effect on me.

Dave: Are those chewable morphine tablets? I'd like to replace my vitamins with those, if so.

1:52 pm  
Blogger Donnnnn said...


Back in the 70s I found that even an armful of smack in the john with Eno & Bowie could never replace the rush of robbing a big bank down in Manhattan and chasing the rush with a nightful of unbridled reckless sex with super models at Studio 54.

Good Times.

3:47 pm  
Blogger CyberPete said...

I've never tried either. Maybe I should go to my doc and tell him I'm depressed and see what he gives me.

I got some diet pills some 5 years ago and they had speed and caffeine in them. They were lovely.

5:09 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Well - your recent post proved that flies of any hue are smarter than bipeds.

Thankyou for using the word defecate - I can't rely on all commenters to be so delicate.

I used to find that pills and pils went well together - with an Old Spice chaser.

Ma Beasty might have been better off with Garfer's medication.
Religion, drugs, sex, reality TV or cognitive therapy - we all need something to get us through the week.

Can Bass:
You are a clearly a bloke who gives good advice.
But I'll stick with the Sauvignon as reds give me a hangover these days.

Warning - do not drive or operate machinery - does that include the remote control?

It's like the headache pills I got from Boots that said 'headaches' in the list of side effects.

Try washing it down with a large Jamesons next time.

I think Dave injects them - or smokes them like Sherlock Holmes.

I used to have unbridled reckless sex in the john with Eno and Bowie and then the banks would rob me.

5:10 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I think you must be still taking them - you slipped in there so speedily.

Those speed you up - the valium slows you down and makes you relaxed.
But I'm not advocating it - we're all different.
Best to stick with the vodkatinis.

5:14 pm  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

I once had an aspirin.

7:00 pm  
Blogger CyberPete said...


A few cocktails are much better and healthier.

Could be fun to try valium though. Although I'm quite easiely addicted to things so it'll probably be a bad idea.

9:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post-surgery opiates are the best. Just so annoying I've had to go on the slab to get them.

12:15 am  
Blogger NiC said...

I agree, as you say, at least with Valium in theory the user has some degree of control.
However, I found it rubbish when I was on it for a short while, it only seemed to calm half of my brain so I could feel slightly relaxed but the other half of me was saying "No, don't go to sleep, there's stuff about to happen!"

10:49 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

I hope you didn't take it with a glass of water.
Remember it contains hydrogen and oxygen, an explosive mixture!

And you never get colourful umbrellas with a valium.

(Touch wood) .. I've never had any surgery that warranted anything more exciting than a cup of tea.

You may be unable to relinquish control.
The doc once gave me beta blockers for migraine. I stayed awake for 3 long nights but couldn't think of a single thing to worry about.
I hated being a zombie.

11:27 am  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Yes, it's quite shocking how copiously they used to be prescribed (leading to heart problems and premature death for many as well), but as you say Kaz, is it any more shocking than prescribing someone a drug over which they have even less control?

An older friend of mine lost her mother suddenly in the early 70's whilst at art college & was pretty well zombified by valium for 6 months after by the well-meaning family GP/encouraged by her father, who was also put on them. She didn't become addicted thankfully, but regrets that she was never given an opportunity to grieve for her mother and now believes this came to have a dire impact on her life and some disastrous choices she made because she couldn't bear to be alone once off the valium.

12:21 pm  
Blogger ziggi said...

nitrous oxide is my personal choice but carry the cylinders around is a bit of a bugger. A few totes with that and you can have reckless sex in the bank rob Bowie and John and still have a good nights sleep.

7:06 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I hope it's now realised that we have to work our way through bad patches - with maybe a bit of chemical help for those truly unbearable moments.

Monitoring and discussion are essential.

Ha Ha Ha - N2O - laughing gas.

I just hope you didn't giggle too much when Bowie took his trousers down.

7:34 am  
Blogger Flaming Nora said...

I know someone (honest, it's not me. No really, it's not) who asks her GP for 2 valium tablets each time she goes on a plane. One for journey there, one for return. Of course, when there's a delay and the valium's already been swallowed it's not much good but takes away the pain of sitting around the airport bored for hours.

3:58 pm  
Blogger Roses said...

I am finding life far more pleasant and bearable with a smattering of valium. I'm nice to my loved ones, indifferent to everyone else.

Three cheers to Valium. Hip Hip...

7:18 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I think this someone you know who definitely isn't you is very sensible.
But she should ask for the whole bottle.

'Smattering' is an excellent unit.
I know you'll keep it well monitored.

7:03 am  
Blogger Gordie said...

What wonderful paperbacks you have in your local library.

9:46 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Yes but you have to be on very good terms with the librarian to borrow this one.

6:34 pm  
Blogger I, like the view said...

I'd just like something that works. . .

7:54 am  
Blogger I, like the view said...

(that naked Frenchwoman is beautiful)

7:54 am  
Blogger I, like the view said...

(do you ever find images of a man that are that sensous? or is that why you showed us lovely Kev's the t-shirt in the post above. . .)

7:55 am  
Blogger I, like the view said...

(see what a mess the drugs I'm on make of my typing? can't even get the word order correct!)

7:57 am  

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