Four years before the approval of the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, a non-fiction book with pills on the cover stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 28 weeks. Author Jacqueline Susann said that she wrote Valley of the Dolls to warn people against taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Her book told the story of three women who used diet pills, barbiturates, and alcohol.
A fictitious novel, the story was of the innumerable faceless people who resorted to such measures to be called ideal and admired. The book, set in the entertainment world, reflected society's acceptance of those drugs. Susann wrote about what led the women to take drugs and the effects of drug abuse, including overdose. Drugs changed one character's personality, and she was hospitalized to withdraw from drugs.