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A Disaster Averted
by Blue Zinnia
Citation:   Blue Zinnia. "A Disaster Averted: An Experience with Halcion (exp113938)". Dec 28, 2021.

  oral Pharms - Triazolam


In the '70s I was a young social worker doing general "family support" work with families on welfare. A client of mine--let's call her Cathy, because that's not her name--had been doing extremely well in an external sense: Managing her limited money well, taking great care of her two kids, and keeping her apartment spotless. It took a toll, though, and she was often anxious. The doctor eventually prescribed an entry-level dose of Halcion, which we had both heard was mild and effective.

I didn't see her for several weeks, and then I got a call from her landlady, who liked her and was greatly alarmed at her situation. I went over, and it was as she had said: The place was utterly filthy, with caked-on animal and baby human feces on the floor, sticking to paper that had been thrown down to cover it. The kids were unwashed and hungry, she was dazed and thin and, though embarrassed, not really able to respond to the situation. Everybody's clothes were foul, and there was nearly no food in the place. Also, there were fleas chewing the children (and me) alive.

Because she was so out of it and the kids in such an unhealthy state, I called CPS and we removed the kids to a shelter. She was given a court-appearance ticket.

Luckily, my office had a PDR (Physicians' Desk Reference, the big guide to pharmaceuticals), which was a rare amenity in grunt-level offices in those days, and I could look up side effects and begin calling an expert or two. Turns out the drug could account for every single effect I saw if she became disoriented and took more that the Rx dose, not realizing she'd already had some. This matched up both with some of the published accounts and with what the kids told me.

Even more fortunately, she drew a judge who was willing to read the research I brought in, and give Cathy a chance to get off the drug and get things together. Which she did, rapidly and handily, and got the kids back. Within a couple of months, all was pretty much as it had been before the drug, except that she'd cross-stitched "Fuck Halcion" and tacked it to the wall, much to the older kid's delight. :)

Cathy told me she didn't recognize herself on the drug--quite literally, she'd look in the mirror and say, "That can't be me, can it??" I moved out of state soon afterward and lost track of her, but figured I should write up what I remembered. This could be a terribly nasty drug, and I'm glad it was yanked.

Exp Year: 1976ExpID: 113938
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: 32 
Published: Dec 28, 2021Views: 514
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Pharms - Triazolam (209) : Second Hand Report (42), Medical Use (47), Alone (16)

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