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Drugs

National Portrait Gallery

"Drugs" Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Public Affairs.

Photograph panels for "Drugs" exhibit at the Arts and Industries Building.

"Drugs" Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Public Affairs.

Figures for "Drugs" exhibit at the Arts and Industries Building.

"Drugs" Exhibit

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Public Affairs.

Inner Voices performance at the "Drugs" exhibit in the Arts and Industries Building.

Pure Drugs

National Museum of American History

Perry's Drugs

National Museum of American History

Perry's Drugs

National Museum of American History

Salem Drugs

National Museum of American History

Pure Drugs

National Museum of American History

Common Drugs

National Museum of American History

"Drugs" Exhibit Opening

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Special Events.

"Drugs" exhibit opening at the Arts and Industries Building.

"Drugs" Exhibit Opening

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Special Events.

"Drugs" exhibit opening at the Arts and Industries Building with performance of "Jazz" by the "Cornbread Players" in the Rap Theater.

"Drugs" Exhibit Opening

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Requested from Photographic Services Division by Office of Special Events.

"Drugs" exhibit opening at the Arts and Industries Building with performance of "Jazz" by the "Cornbread Players" in the Rap Theater.

Terry Court Drugs

National Museum of American History

Lenox Rexall Drugs

National Museum of American History

Dale Discount Drugs

National Museum of American History

Drugs' Odd Side Effects

Smithsonian Magazine

You know those prescription drug ads on TV, right? At some point, they’ll list the drug’s side effects (often trying unsuccessfully to fit the list into the commercial “naturally” as if people really talk to each other that way). I’m sure I’m not alone in tuning that part out; we all learned our lesson when the Viagra ads first appeared. But maybe we should pay more attention, because some of these side effects are just plain weird:

Changes in eye color – Latisse, a version of the glaucoma drug bimatoprost, recently came on the market as a way to grow longer eyelashes. However, side effects include darkening of the skin around the eyes and a permanent change in eye color. They may not change from baby blue to chocolate brown, but light-colored eyes can noticeably deepen in shade. Would you risk this when false lashes are so readily available?

Missing fingerprints – Last week, a cancer patient encountered some difficulties when trying to enter the United States because he lacked fingerprints. Thus it was revealed that the oral chemotherapy drug Xeloda can cause blistering of the hands and/or feet to such a degree that, over time, patients can lose their fingerprints. People being treated with the drug and who wish to travel to countries that require fingerprints for identification are now advised to carry a letter from their doctor.

Walking, driving, eating and even having an affair in your sleep – Ambien might do more than help a person sleep. And while sleepwalking is fairly harmless (unless you trip and fall), this drug’s side effects are crazier than that. Some people eat in their sleep, gorging themselves on things, like raw bacon, they would never consume while conscious. Then there’s the story of Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who crashed his Ford Mustang into a barrier in Washington, D.C., allegedly under the influence of Ambien and a second drug. And even stranger, a man wrote to Slate magazine’s Dear Prudence columnist claiming he was unfaithful to his wife while taking Ambien, but he didn’t remember anything of the encounter.

Amnesia – Can’t remember what you did yesterday? Are you taking Mirapex for restless-legs syndrome? Or maybe a statin, such a Lipitor? Both have had reports of short-term memory loss as a side effect. The good news, though, is that the problem seems to go away when people stop taking the drugs.

Colored urine – The antibiotics Flagyl and furazolidone and a drug for high blood pressure in pregnant women, called Aldomet, will turn urine black. The laxative phenolphthalein will turn it purple. The antidepressant Elavil and a muscle relaxant called Robaxin will turn it green. And blue urine might come with taking the diuretic Dyrenium or medications that contain methylene blue. I wonder what would happen if you took some of these in combination?

Compulsive behavior – Mirapex is also used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. A 2005 study of several Parkinson’s patients on this or similar drugs, though, documented 11 cases of pathological gambling. Last year, a man who had lost $260,000 while under the influence of Mirapex won $8.2 million in a lawsuit against the drug’s maker.

Rock House Drugs Only

National Museum of American History

Drugs and the Young

National Portrait Gallery
Time’s September 26, 1969, cover story about the rise of drug use, especially of marijuana and barbiturates among the young, was timely, to say the least. Just the month before, at the Woodstock music festival, it was estimated that “some 90% of the 400,000 participants openly smoked marijuana.” And the week before the magazine ran its story, the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency “began hearings to consider new legislation on drugs” as part of the Nixon administration’s push to toughen drug laws. But many experts argued that the laws were already inequitable and widely unenforceable. In the case of marijuana use, a senior administrator of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, testified that he knew of “no clearer instance in which the punishment for an infraction of the law is more harmful than the crime.”

Las drogas y los jóvenes

El artículo del 26 de septiembre de 1969 acerca del auge en el consumo de drogas entre los jóvenes, sobre todo marihuana y barbitúricos, fue oportuno, por decir lo menos. Justo un mes antes, en el festival de música de Woodstock, se calculó que “cerca del 90% de los 400,000 asistentes fumaron marihuana abiertamente”. Y la semana previa a la publicación del artículo, el Subcomité del Senado sobre la Delincuencia Juvenil “inició vistas para considerar nueva legislación sobre las drogas” como parte de las gestiones de la administración de Nixon para endurecer las leyes antidrogas. Pero muchos expertos afirmaban que las leyes eran poco equitativas y en gran medida imposibles de ejecutar. En el caso de la marihuana, un alto administrador del Departamento de Salud, Educación y Bienestar Social testificó que no conocía “instancia más clara en que el castigo por una infracción fuera más dañino que el crimen mismo”.

Robert S. Crandall (nacido en 1921)

Impresión cromógena, 1969

Portada de Time, 26 de septiembre de 1969

Drugs on the Job

National Portrait Gallery

"Drugs" Exhibit in A&I, 1972

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Featured in TORCH, Summer 1972

The temporary exhibit entitled "Drugs" focused on drugs in modern society and used innovative exhibit techniques. The exhibit was in the Arts and Industries Building from the summer of 1972 until January of 1973.

Choice Botanic Drugs, Pressed Gentian

National Museum of American History

Don't Be Needled by Drugs

National Museum of American History

Affordable Rx Drugs in Medicare

National Museum of American History
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