Potatohead, I agree with you. However, not all drugs are the same -- I was prompted to post by the assertion that this was "just another form of legalized speed" when that's not really the case (although the drug that prompted this thread appears to be a mixture
of legalized speed with the drug I've got experience with).
In another thread I wrote, of being on topomax:
It had side effects, but what it did for me was interrupt a bunch of my food cravings. For the first time in my life, I was prompted to eat by hunger. I used to stand in front of the fridge, holding an internal dialog about whether or not I'd digested enough food from the last meal that I had room to eat again. I'd FIND myself in front of the fridge having that conversation; it wasn't under my control. The new brain drugs got rid of all that, and it was a blessing. But the side effects were ... massive.
It's maybe too simple to say the drug helped me "change bad habits" -- I don't think "habits" adequately conveys the power of the food compulsions and behavior patterns I was struggling with -- but in effect, that's what happened. So, yeah, the "habits" have to change, but I'm open to at least the idea that pharmaceuticals can assist with that.
Sadly there's a whole 'nother rant about doctors who prescribe meds without providing (without being able to provide, for most folks who aren't rich) the kind of supportive monitoring and care necessary to make sure that the meds aren't having dangerous side effects. And in the medical system we have, that problem isn't going to go away. It's not so much that drugs are dangerous -- they are, they have to be -- as that we get them without adequate medical support. Consider a cancer chemo drug. It's a poison. It will kill you as dead as the cancer if you don't get the dosage just right, reducing it or decreasing it as the tumor responds and/or the side effects become intolerable. Does that make the drug "bad"? No, it just means that it's useless
unless it comes with adequate medical support. And most of us -- especially the uninsured -- don't get adequate medical support for any
of the drugs we are prescribed. This new diet drug -- even if it's otherwise useful -- will be no different.