Édouard Zarifian

The Price of Well-being Publication date : September 1, 1996

Why is France one of the countries which has the highest rate of consumption of psychotropic drugs (tranquillisers, hypnotics, antidepressants, neuroleptics) ? Are the French more ill than other nationalities ? No, says Edouard Zarifian, it is rather that in this country, we offer medication for the least emotional trouble. Who is responsible for this ? The manufacturers (pharmaceutical laboratories) ? Certainly, but they follow economic demand. The medical profession which issues prescriptions ? Yes, but they are often badly trained and taken unawares by the same brainwashing. The media ? Perhaps a section, but their survival sometimes depends on it. The principal victims are the sick people themselves, considered from this point onwards as consumers. It is thus a cry of warning that Professor Zarifian voices in this book, directly inspired by the celebrated report he gave at the beginning of the year to the Ministry of Health. The report centred on the prescription and usage of psychotropic medication in France, and he reiterates the main elements of it in this book.

Edouard Zarifian is a professor of psychiatry and head of the CHU of Caen. He is the author of two other successful works, Les Jardiniers de la folie (1988 and 1994) and Des paradis plein la tête (1994), both published with Odile Jacob.