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Economist's editorial 'Better than Well'

On April 6th 1996 The Economist published a very interesting comparison of social attitudes to Ecstasy and Prozac:

"Every week, according to the most conservative estimates, half a million Britons take a pill to make them happy. This pill was originally developed as an appetite suppressor. Now it is an adjunct to partying. In America, some 5m people regularly take a different sort of pill. This one was developed as an anti-depressant. Now it is widely used as a chemical accessory by those who think it is unfair that they should ever feel low.

"The British users are breaking their country's law. The Americans are not. Which raises an important question. If it is not acceptable to take a drug with the awkward name of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (better known as MDMA, and even better known as ecstasy) to make you feel happy when you just want to have fun, why is it acceptable to take the anti-depressant fluoxetine (better known as Prozac) to make you feel happy if you are not actually clinically depressed?"

It goes on to argue the case, ending:

"So, when Calvinists ask if people taking Prozac to eliminate elements of their personalities, such as shyness, is so very far removed from the recreational use of ecstasy, the answer appears to be "no."
But what is wrong with that?"

The full text can be read on this link. index
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