I have noticed a disturbing trend over the past year. Not only have I seen more and more prescription drug ads on television (I am strongly against this), but now we are starting to see ads for drugs that treat the side effects of other drugs (which I am even more strongly against). This is a very dangerous road to start down and I want to know where we draw the lines on this.
If any of you have followed the healthcare profession you know that America has developed a drug problem. This isn’t the drug problem that most people imagine, although this does fuel that path too. Prescription drugs have been the drug of choice for people that are in pain, people that are looking for a buzz and about anyone else you can imagine too. We as a society have made it so easy to get these drugs that there isn’t as much need for people to go the illegal route. Why risk your current life when you can do things legally with the same result? Of course there are still people going down that road after they have gotten addicted to pain medication and find those drugs too expensive.
Big pharma hasn’t had any desire to squash this, as they end up cashing in on it. Medical doctors have been put into the precarious position of trying to figure out which people are really in pain (some of them aren’t even doing this unfortunately) and which ones are really in need of help.
Pain killers are only a part of the problem though. Adderall has become a drug of choice for many college kids trying to cram for tests. Sleeping pills have replaced good sleep hygiene. Perhaps the most scary example is proton pump inhibitors are being prescribed to ridiculous numbers of people (studies show that up to 70% of these are incorrectly prescribed), greatly increasing their risk for dementia later in life. The list goes on. The worst part is every one of these drugs had side effects and YOU are the one that gets to deal with those side effects.
Big pharma is anything but dumb. They have created drugs for every disorder, often times without long-term risk analysis. Not only are we constantly advertising (they even advertise for “off-label” usage which is another HUGE disaster waiting to happen), but now we are developing drugs to take for drug-induced side effects.
So where can all of this go wrong? Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you are on a pain-killer. Not only is this a drug that is highly addictive, but over the course of years can cause some serious brain dysfunction (which leads to a host of other issues, ironically including chronic pain). That pain killer may have 30 possible side effects. So by taking one drug, that only covers up your issue instead of fixing the problem, they could add another 30 drugs to address those side effects. Say those 30 drugs each have 30 side effects. You could add another 900 drugs for that issue. You can see that the math on this gets obscene pretty quickly. Where does this end?
I am not against medication. I know that there are a lot of people out there that can benefit from APPROPRIATE usage of medication. Unfortunately, many of these companies, and some doctors, are focused on making money off of you rather than actually getting you better. They make more money the longer you are on medication and the more medications you are on.
Don’t fall into their traps. Look to fix the root cause of the problem. If we can remove the cause, then we remove the symptoms. You want to know what the side effects of chiropractic care are? More energy, improved sleep, better immune function, improved sports/work performance, decreased depression, etc… The most common negative side effect is a little muscle soreness, although this is experienced by a small percentage of patients. Cause-based care is the ONLY way to go.
Which fork in the road are you going to take?
Address the underlying problem. Fix that problem. Live a better life.