From the August 1967 magazine.

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Potentiation Hazard

The most insidious hazard for people who take drugs and drive lies in what pharmacologists call the "escalating" or "potentiating" reaction when an alcoholic beverage collides with a drug. The alcohol and the drug react together on the central nervous system with devastating effect. For example, a tranquilizing pill combined with only a slight amount of alcohol becomes a sleeping pill. Similarly, a sleeping pill of the barbiturate type can, when combined with alcohol, become a poison capable of causing dizziness, blackout, even death. Since the effects vary enormously from person to person, the amount of alcohol or of drug consumed need not be great. After the recent sudden death of a famous writer, the medical examiner said, "It could have been simply one extra pill."

-- Reader's Digest

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