January 6th, 2013

The Late 80's Drug Scene of NYC & Treatment for PTSD

Searches:  1) "drug culture of the 80's", "drugs in the 1980's", "popular drugs of the 80s", "Late 80's drug use", "MDMA in the 80's",
                    "speed in the 80s", "club drugs"
                     2) "Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress", "PTSD medication", "treating ptsd in the 80's", "history of ptsd treatment" and variants
Sites Used: Google, Wikipedia, Erowid, and this archive
Setting: New York City, 1986

This a two part question since I've gotten a little stuck. I've gotten to a point where my character, a young man who'd been crippled in a near fatal assault, has gone to see a dealer to make a trade. As of this point, I've got him trading Xanax for speed (Dexedrine) and ends up getting some MDMA pills from the dealer as a "sorry for trying to kill you due to a bout of psychosis" bonus.  But this leads to the first problem: just what kind of drugs were available (legally and otherwise) and in demand at this point. My research keeps bring up the staples of cocaine and crack, but I like the effects MDMA since it fits what I'm going for with this character as having mounting problems with amphetamine/stimulant abuse.

The second question is just how was posttraumtic stress disorder treated during the 80's? What I've been able to find deals mainly with either focuses on the military or are current practices. I wish to hint that my character is undergoing treatment for PTSD but I don't want to outright state that fact. Hence the choice of Xanax (alprazolam) being prescribed to him, along with his self-medicating.

I would greatly appreciate any input on either of these topics and thank you all in advance.