Monday, June 14, 2010

The Drug Pipeline

The Drug Pipeline

Kudos to the county-wide Pain Management Project for their efforts in curbing the ‘illegal use of legal drugs’ and addressing the human toll they take.
However, the bigger picture appears to be eluding them. Their efforts, while worthwhile, distract from fixing the real problem at the source. It’s like washing off oil soaked pelicans, as we allow the unregulated oil companies to continue deep water drilling to quench America’s insatiable addiction to oil.
Perhaps the only thing Americans are more addicted to than oil, is drugs. We are a nation of drug addicts: the legal use of prescription and over-the counter legal drugs, and the illegal use of both legal and illegal drugs. We are a sickness and drug culture, spending $80,000 per second on disease care, supporting America’s largest industry: the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance industrial complex.
We routinely and mindlessly pollute our bodies with chemically-concocted, pesticide-laden and genetically modified foods and apply gallons and pounds of chemical body ‘care’ lotions and potions, all creating internal ecological environmental catastrophes. And then, we run to the doctors who write 3 billion prescriptions per year, an average of 12 prescriptions for every man-woman and child, at a cost of $414 billion dollars. And, we automatically reach into our personal polypharmacies of drugs in our ‘triple wide’ medicine cabinets to self-medicate whatever ails us for an illusion of health.
We are taught from the earliest of ages of the ‘miracles’ of drugs; drugs to improve our brain and physical performance, help us sleep, lose or gain weight, stop smoking, improve our sex lives, relieve tension, stress, anxiety, sadness, and depression, control our blood chemistry and our hearts, and to counteract our excesses of food and drink…and on and on and on.
Just say ‘Yes’ to drugs, unless, of course, they are illegal, and then just say ‘No’.
To most of us, and sadly, to our doctors, taking drugs equates with health. We have no personal responsibility other than to remember to take the pills doctors routinely prescribe. We have, in fact, created a “Generation RX, a generation of young people who think all prescription drugs are always safe and legal.” By the time our kids are 18 months old most have received 64 scheduled vaccinations. At home and in school we give them drugs, and they trade them like Halloween candy.
And somehow, we are shocked to see a 448% increase in prescribed doses (3,168,000) of opiods such as OxyContin in Berkshire County (population of 129,288), the equivalent of 25 doses per person. And because this class of drugs is addictive, as if the others aren’t, we have criminalized behaviors associated with their use, even though there is no greater motivator of human behavior than pain, and the desire to remove it. Pain of some sort, after all, is the reason we take all of the other drugs as well.

The magnitude of this problem and its fix does not lie in addressing the addictions of the end users, or even putting people in jail. Helping addicts reclaim their lives is a noble endeavor, but it is pure pretense to believe it will curb use. It is no less of a fantasy, and will experience no more success, than the so-called war on drugs.
On the personal level the answer lies in breaking our addiction to our disease promoting lifestyles, and our belief in drugs as cure-alls.
The real answer lies in curtailing the use of all drugs. That means going after the cartels; in this case, the drug companies, and to hold their ‘dealers’ (the doctors) more accountable for creating health rather than medicating symptoms.
The most important step we can take as a nation to curtail the use of all drugs, including the illegal use of legal drugs, is to immediately ban all direct to consumer advertising by the drug companies.
It’s like putting a shut-off valve in a pipeline.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lies, Damned Lies and Advertising

Lies, Damn Lies & Advertising

Every word that I hold dear, as a chiropractor and health coach, has been misappropriated and destroyed by the marketing interests of corporations.

Words and phrases such as:

health, wellness, health care, heath screen, wellness fair, employee wellness-program, health care, health care reform, health insurance, etc. In our medical-pharmaceutical-insurance dominated world, the more accurate and truthful descriptions would substitute the word disease everywhere corporate marketers use the words health & wellness.

In short, marketing has destroyed our understanding and concepts of health and wellness, and thus, our actual health and wellness, for corporate profit.

Vis a vis: the photo. I took that photo at a Rite-Aide Pharmacy in New Jersey.

As if the word wellness even belongs in a pharmacy, let alone plastered above the words and products Tobacco on the left, Cigarettes on the right with their 'Stop Smoking Center' wedged in between. It is beyond a mixed message. It is subliminal advertising relating tobacco and cigarettes to wellness.

I guess the epitome of Wellness+ to them would be more kids like the one in this video. If they could do it here, they would.