Medicine: Benzedrine for Barbiturates

Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you;

And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren't lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.*

These drawbacks to self-destruction, as ticked off by Dorothy Parker, do not apply to an overdose of sleeping pills. In recent years the barbiturates have enjoyed alarming popularity as a painless means of suicide, especially among women who are repelled by the more violent forms. Accidental as well as deliberate overdoses kill hundreds yearly.

Knowing no reliable antidote, doctors too often stood by helplessly as a victim sank from coma into death. Last week, when a "suitable antidote" was finally announced, it seemed obvious—benzedrine,...

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