Ok, so what are those green pills Beth takes in The Queen’s Gambit?

Are the tranquillisers real?


*Contains spoilers*

The Queen’s Gambit is the latest in a long line of Netflix original series and the concept is pretty unique. The seven part series tells the story of orphan Beth Harmon who is a chess prodigy, and after getting adopted she and her adoptive mother make plans for her to win chess championships.

However the big twist of the show is Beth is also addicted to pills and alcohol. After beginning her life in an orphanage where alongside the fellow orphans she is given green tranquilliser pills, she soon becomes addicted to them when moving in with adoptive mum, who also has a stash of the drugs.

But what exactly are the drugs Beth takes in the Queen’s Gambit? And were pills like that actually given to children?

This is everything you need to know about the green pills Beth takes in The Queen’s Gambit:

What are the green pills? And are they real?

We first see the little green pills in the orphanage in the first episode of The Queen’s Gambit. The orphans line up to take their “vitamins” and are given a red pill and a green pill.

Beth’s friend’s Jolene suggests she takes the green one at night and when she does she experiences hallucinations of herself playing chess.

In the show they call the pill “Xanzolam” and it’s a tranquilliser. However Xanzolam is not actually a real drug, but it does have similarities to the drug Librium which is a benzodiazepine called chlordiazepoxide.

In the 1960s, the same time period that The Queen’s Gambit is set, Librium was extremely popular and was usually prescribed to women for anxiety, insomnia and withdrawal symptoms.

Librium is mentioned a few times in the Walter Tevis novel that The Queen’s Gambit is based on.

But did they actually drug kids in orphanages?

There have been a number of reports that unfortunately orphanages did use intravenous sedatives in order to keep children calm in the middle of the 20th century.

According to Buzzfeed News many children left the orphanages with addictions. And it’s not only the US this travesty occurred, Denmark, Russia, Romania and Ukraine have all be known to drug children in orphanages in the past.

Last year the Danish Prime Minister apologised for the mistreatment children suffered between 1945 to 1976 in state run children’s homes.

The first season of The Queen’s Gambit is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Featured image credit: Netflix.com

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