18 March 2012 in , ,

There's a pill for that.

MARCH 18, 2012

So the war on drugs wages on but is it being fought on the right front? I used to think it was easy to distinguish bad drugs from good ones; legal was good and illegal was bad. My naive way of thinking amuses me now. Being legal does not necessarily make something less harmful. Being legal simply means that it's distribution occurs in a different market; that market being the pharmacy as opposed to the street.

Heroin, for example, is horrible. Highly addictive with life changing consequences. It is illegal now, but in the past it was prescribed for pain.

Cocaine, is another one which now, is also illegal because of it's addictive qualities. It used to be prescribed for a number of things ranging from exhaustion to depression.

Marijuana can't be left out of the mix. Although it is illegal for recreational use, it is prescribed medically to help with a number of conditions. It is important to point out that in potency Mary Jane pales in comparison to the drugs listed above.

Throughout the years these drugs have gained quite a stigma. What worries me is that they originated as popularly prescribed medications. So is Valium the next marijuana and Oxycontin the next heroin? It is generally assumed that if it's prescribed by a doctor it's safe. This is a dangerous assumption to make in our drug obsessed culture. 

There is a pill for everything. If you have a headache, you take an Advil. Migraine, something stronger. If your body is aching, you take a Tylenol. If your stomach hurts, you drink a little Pepto-Bismol. If your dick can't get hard, pop Viagra. If you're sad, eat a Prozac. Having trouble concentrating, Ritalin will sort you out. Trouble sleeping, there is sleeping pills. A little anxiety, Valium will fix that. Pain, don't worry take an Oxycontin or Percocet. Don't want a baby, take your pick of birth control.

We are consuming over the counter and prescription medications in copious amounts. Who is paying attention to their effects? Oxycontin is an opiate and derived from the same source as heroin, it's addiction is reaching epidemic levels; yet it is still prescribed. Valium and the sort, such as Diazapam and Ativan are turning people into walking zombies unable to feel real emotion. Prolonged uses can result in memory loss and rage. Birth control pills are being recalled all over the place from causing irreparable damage such as blindness, blood clots and death. Ritalin, if used by someone who does not have ADHD has the effect of the street drug speed. Prolonged and excessive use of Advil can lead to breathing problems and hallucinations.  Tylenol has proven to cause liver damage.

The inspiration for this post came from a TIME Magazine article ADHD: Why the Youngest Kids in a Class Are Most Likely to be Diagnosed. I won't go into details of the article here. You should really check it out, even if you just skim over it. It makes a very compelling case. It's disheartening that Ritalin is being pushed onto kids who might not even have a disorder to begin with. They might just be regular, distracted kids. Not to mention the effects of growing up thinking you have ADHD, when you don't! Without standardized testing, it's really one guess over another.

Drugs are suppose to be available with a prescription because that is suppose to act as a checks and balance to keep them out of the wrong hands. That is a great little thought in theory, if it resembled reality even slightly it would be even better. Doctor's are given kick backs from pharmaceutical company's for using their product. It's almost like a commission. People die because of the wrong combination of drugs being prescribed to them. A lot of the celebrities who have passed away in recent years have been found with wrong combinations of prescription medications. It wasn't a street drug overdose. 

I'm not saying that we should doubt every single doctor, the majority are well-meaning individuals. However, we should be aware about what we are putting into our bodies. If you're not going to willingly roll up a bill and snort coke up your nose then you probably shouldn't fill that prescription blindly either. READ and LEARN. I'm not implying that everyone go to med school, but we should be aware. Prescription drugs can be just as addictive and harmful as street drugs; you just buy them in different places.

It is very clear that a guy selling blow or heroin by the pounds should be in jail. How about the guy prescribing Oxy and Valium like it's candy? Does the fact that he wears a white coat and has a prescription pad make him any less of a drug dealer; especially when he collects a bonus cheque from big pharma? 

the outspoken introvert

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