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Tranquillizers are prescribed to almost twice as many women as men, yet very little gender-based research has been carried out on the social context of their use. This work offers a feminist analysis of the gendered character of psychotropic drug use, based on studies of long-term psychotropic drug users and the content of drug advertising. The authors argue that gender differences in psychotropic drug use are manifestations of the gendered construction of society as a whole and that, as a result, women are particularly susceptible to being channelled into a state of dependency on prescribed drugs. Exploring current social scientific debates relating to drug users and providers, the text also provides a critical review of previous research.