BLOG: May 2008
Medication use at the all-time
"Who in their right mind would use
those medications advertised on TV, risking all those nasty side
effects?" said a friend in a causal conversation. Well, looks like great many would. The
latest data shows that use of medications in the U.S. is at the all-time
high: now more than half Americans regularly use
The number is put out by Medco Health Solutions Inc., a
company in the business of managing prescription benefits. It is
based on their customer data, and shows steady increase in
prescription drug use in the U.S.: from 47% of the population
back in 2000, to 50% in 2006, and 51% in 2007. This makes the U.S.
the most medicated country in the world.
Seniors over 60 top the list: 3 out of 4 use prescription
drugs regularly. They are followed by adult women (2 in 3),
adult men (1 in 2) and those below 20 years of age (1 in 4).
Why is the average American more prone to reach out for
medication and push it down the throat, than the rest of world's
population? It is not a secret that
side effects of prescription drugs kill well over 100,000
Americans each year, in hospitals alone. Many more are suffering
from adverse drug effects, often not even aware that they are caused
While it is certain that many factors are involved, it
probably boils down to only three of them: convenience,
affordability and packaging.
It is much more
convenient to toss a pill into the mouth,
than to change unhealthy habits in the diet and lifestyle.
And, Americans can afford to spend as much as it takes for the
"quick fix" with medications.
Part of it is why the older folks in America is so
drug-dependant: by the time they reach advanced age, it is only
logical to "treat" accumulated
effects of unhealthy habits by adding one more -
ration of drugs.
It has become sort of a norm, but it doesn't have to
be like that. Elsewhere in the world, where people live healthfully, they remain
physically active and mentally sharp well into their old age.
Of course, it is different ball game for
people living in industrialized countries. Not only unhealthy
lifestyle, or even short traumatic episodes, but also the
polluted environment we live in can and do inflict genetically-based
damage that is
passed to the next
generation, and generations after it.
In other words, we are more likely than before
to inherit diseases.
The very base of our natural health - the
environment - is
already compromised, and it is only getting worse. This plays at
the hand of drug use since there is more people that will not
feel well, to some degree, even if living healthfully, as much
as it is possible in this polluted environment. And the mainly
uncharted, obscure health effects of thousands of foreign
chemicals we're exposed to can certainly make many feel
helpless, unable to control their own health.
Especially if unaware of these agents being able
to cause disease - so called
environmental illness - which is, by the way, ignored and/or
negated by the "official" medicine.
As for the "packaging factor", it is about how prescription
drugs, in general, are presented to the public. Unfortunately,
this presentation is created not by independent medical
professionals - as it should be - but by the very drug
manufacturers and their cronies. The inherent defect, and
danger, of not addressing the cause of a disease, typical of
drug/surgery treatments, are
ignored by practitioners,
and not communicated to the patient.
Possible direct adverse health effects of
conventional symptom-suppressing treatments are downplayed,
sometimes even concealed, while viable and superior alternative therapies
are ignored, downgraded, or ridiculed.
People tend to think that what they hear from their doctor is
some sort of a sacred medical knowledge. In fact, most of the
time, it is no more than a sales pitch of the drug maker. Worse yet, practicing rules for medical doctors are
written mainly by pharmaceutical and insurance companies, whose
legitimate and clandestine influence on the official medicine is
Not to be aware of it is like being living in
- a sickly Wonderland.
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