This was back in the early to mid-80s, and I had never heard of attention deficit disorder, let alone someone being on Spaz Pills before (I think the term was relatively new, now commonly referred to as ADHD).
I'm not a doctor, but I'm not sure my friend needed the Spaz Pills. Maybe he was properly diagnosed, maybe not. One thing I'm sure of is that never before in human history have there been a greater number of mainstream, immediate quick fixes being offered up.
Thanks to the Internet, there is increasing transparency for patients and concerned people looking for both honest answers and ways to identify greedy doctors.
Identifying Greed: The Dollars for Doctors Database
ProPublica offers a "Dollars for Doctors Database" that discloses on how many prescriptions a specific doctor is writing, and for which drugs. The site also aims to shed light on connections between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, who may have them on the payroll, and the drugs that those companies produce.
For example, from research on ProPublica, Dr. Levine writes that one cardiologist in Chinatown in New York City wrote 21,000 prescriptions for a variety of costly blood pressure and heart arrhythmia drugs that are available as generics at a fraction of the cost. This is the equivalent of 57.5 prescriptions per day, or 7 per hour (given an 8 hour day), nonstop, 365 days a year. This number seems absurdly high, if not physically impossible, especially when compared to Dr. Levine's self-reported activity as a busy cardiologist, writing 1,500 prescriptions in the same time period. Within ProPublica you can also find examples of doctors who prescribe narcotics 800% more than their peers.
It is not uncommon for us to seek out our doctors during difficult periods in our lives. We may have a legitimate, or imagined, problem that seems real enough to seek counsel. In any case, we need to strongly consider our doctor's advice. Are we really in trouble or just seeking comfort? In some cases, we may indeed need the medication and should absolutely take it to help ourselves and perhaps the people around us. But don't put blind faith in what your doctor says.
Thanks to ProPublica.org, we can give ourselves a second opinion when a doctor is quick to prescribe a drug that we may be skeptical that we really need.