Drugs: Americans Can’t Get Enough

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a rather unsurprising report stating that Americans are overmedicated. According to this report, roughly 130 million Americans swallow, inject, inhale, infuse, spray, and pat on prescribed medication every month. Our appetite for prescription medication exceeds that of any other country

Of course, it really isn’t surprising given the way pharmaceutical companies flood the airwaves with commercials hawking their latest offerings like candy to children. No, we have become a society of “quick fixes.” Why exercise and eat right to lower cholesterol when a simple pill will do the trick? Of course, that exercise would also release endorphins and help fight depression, instead of popping that Prozac. And, the healthy food might actually help nourish all the organs.

“We are taking way too many drugs for dubious or exaggerated ailments,” says Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of “The Truth About the Drug Companies.” “What the drug companies are doing now is promoting drugs for long-term use to essentially healthy people. Why? Because it’s the biggest market.” – AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

As a society, we drug our children into submission . . . or into violent rages. Ritalin, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft – odds are you know a child taking one of these medications. The statistics boggle the mind. According to the DEA, our country manufactures and consumes 5-times more MPH (aka. Ritalin) than the rest of the world combined. In 1995 the MPH aggregate production quota had increased almost 6-fold since 1990. One can only imagine the increase in the past 10 years. This is especially disturbing considering recent research indicates a healthy exercise program can provide similar benefits in ADHD as Ritalin – without any of the side effects. Once again, we choose the quick fix, instead of the more difficult and healthier solution.

Of course, lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit over Ritalin. The suit charges that Novartis, CHADD, and the American Psychiatric Association committed fraud in conspiring to over-promote the diagnosis Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its treatment with Ritalin. Gee, what a surprise! Ritalin is a Class 2 narcotic and most similar to cocaine. Would anyone give their child cocaine?

Were you aware that many school shootings were perpetrated by a child (children) that took mood-altering prescription medicines, including at least one of the Columbine shooters and the recent Red Lake, Minnesota shooter? According to his friends, Jeff Weise took Prozac for depression. In fact, media outlets report that Weise had his dosage raised just one week prior to the Red Lake shootings. Other countries have become disenchanted with the “drug the kids” practice. In 2003, Britain actually banned the use of anti-depressants for children. Health Canada has also issued a strong warning against their use.

Drug safety researcher Dr. James Kaye, of Boston University, remembers a medical school teacher telling the class: “All drugs are poisonous!” — AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Virtually all drugs have the ability to kill on their own, as a side effect, at a high dosage and/or in combination with another drug or pre-existing condition. Read your drug inserts if you don’t believe this. Warafin, a popular blood thinner, was originally used as rat killer. It made the rats that ingested it bleed out. Even many over-the-counter drugs are toxic at some level or with some pre-existing conditions. Our livers bear the burden of our love affair with prescription medication. Luckily, the liver is the most forgiving organ in our body – though even it can only take so much abuse. We should be using drugs with discrimination and as a last resort.

Well over 125,000 Americans die from drug reactions and mistakes each year, according to Associated Press projections from landmark medical studies of the 1990s. That could make pharmaceuticals the fourth-leading national cause of death after heart disease, cancer and stroke.– AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In this “drugged-perfect” world, what do we really lose? As indicated above, we’re losing our children by failing to take the harder, healthier route and by teaching them to just rely on drugs. We saddle our older population with prescription bills that often equal or exceed their food bills. We also lose intangibles – indefinable things. For instance, what would the world culture be missing if artists like Sylvia Plath, Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway and Ludwig von Beethoven taken anti-depressants? We will never know – just like we will never know what creative geniuses are now being suppressed into a drugged stupor.

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One Response to “Drugs: Americans Can’t Get Enough”

  1. Big Dog says:

    Is that a song?
    I can’t get enough of your drugs…..