The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

Smith, Kline, and French - Benzedrine

 Now Council-Accepted Benzedrine Sulfate Spansule

Benzedrine, an amphetamine stimulant, was used in pill form to perk up lethargic patients and soldiers during World War ll and the Vietnam War. The pills were also given to children with behavioral and neurological disorders, in a similar fashion to modern drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall.

Despite its legitimate medical uses, Benzedrine is known as one of the earliest synthetic stimulants to be used for recreational purposes. Referred to colloquially as "bennies," the inhaler form could be bought over the counter. Users abused the drug by cracking open the container and swallowing the paper strip which contained the drug in concentration, resulting in a high.

As a result, in 1965, the inhalers were banned by the Food and Drug Administration, and in 1971 Benzedrine became a Schedule ll (2) controlled substance, which caused the pill form to be strictly regulated.