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Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds

A groundbreaking and revelatory history of our major psychotropic drugs, from "a thoroughly exhilarating and entertaining writer" (Washington Post).

Although one in five Americans now takes at least one psychotropic drug, the fact remains that nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, we still don't know exactly how or why these drugs work--or don't work--on what ails our brains. Blue Dreams offers the explosive story of the discovery, invention, people, and science behind our licensed narcotics, as told by a riveting writer and psychologist who shares her own intimate experience with the highs and lows of psychiatry's drugs.

Lauren Slater's account ranges from the earliest, Thorazine and lithium, up through Prozac and other antidepressants, as well as Ecstasy, "magic mushrooms," the most cutting-edge memory drugs, and even neural implants. Along the way, she narrates the history of psychiatry itself, illuminating the imprint its colorful little capsules have left on millions of brains worldwide, and demonstrating how these wonder drugs may heal us or hurt us.

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