Thursday, October 08, 2009

Will Drugs Really Solve Our Problems?

I sure hope so because most Americans take a lot of drugs -- "uppers, downers, screamers, and laughers," as Hunter S. Thompson once described our love affair with pharmaceuticals.

A recent revelation of the top 50 most prescribed drugs in America -- which represent 10 percent of the nation's annual health care costs -- reveal that we're looking for the "happy pill," or at least the pill that will take our pain away.

The number one most prescribed drug?

Hydrocodone -- a powerful opiate pain-killer often marketed as "Vicodin" that is highly addictive.

Number 9 is Alprazolam, the generic name for Xanax, also addictive and given for anxiety and depression.

At 15 we have Sertraline, another depression medication, along with Lexapro at 19.

At 20, there is oxycodone, another highly addictive pain killer.

Rounding out the Top 50 are another 7 medications for depression and anxiety.

Which makes the collective blood pressure of the country not surprising. In the Top 50, there are 10 medications for hypertension.

The problem? While the meds may be making us healthier, or at least let us live with whatever it is we have, they are surely not making us happier.

Indeed, in the most recent World Happiness Survey, the United States ranks 16th, which may overstate the case since 81% of all Americans believe we're headed in the wrong direction.

For sure, we're one of the most scared populations. Scared of what? Mostly of losing our money which may be why we take so many drugs that don't work which leads to . . . well, more drugs.

It would be nice to see a health plan introduced on either side of the aisle that dealt with the causes of disease rather than simply delivering expensive ways to live with them.


Anonymous Tom C. said...


This email really “strikes a cord” with me. Regardless of the issue, whether it is business or personal, if I do not address the root cause, it will not go away. Business leaders and individuals alike simply delude themselves into believing all is well when they pursue the “symptoms”.

So why don’t folks address the root cause? After all isn’t is obvious when someone is addressing the symptoms and not the illness? Well I have two thoughts:

1) Some people are unaware of the difference. This possibly can be addressed with experience and training.
2) Most people are aware and realize, to address the real issue takes courage, discipline and perseverance (un-medicated). A much more difficult situation to address as we are talking about the core/fundamental make-up of the individual.

Somewhere along the line we/Americans have forgotten not only the teachings of our forefathers, but also the character/behaviors they displayed. This my friend will cause our slow painful deterioration as a nation more than any external force!

Thanks as always for slowing me down to reflect and get reconnected!


4:01 PM  

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