Pills: Is America Over Medicated?

Today I kept getting confronted by pills.  My friend is sick and needed anti-biotics.  Her insurance decided to disappear and there went $50.  I went downstairs to eat lunch and I was confronted by my dad’s wife sorting pills for the upcoming days of the week.  Lots of pills.  All rainbow of colors.  She made a comment, about something she thought was funny that her brother said, “Gee… you need to retire by the time you’re 65 because you need to go to the doctor, the dentist… pick up the medication, and sort it.  No wonder why you don’t have time to work when you are old being so busy taking care of yourself!”  I just stared at her blankly and she shrugged it off, “Maybe you had to be there for it to be funny.”  I didn’t know how to begin to explain what the hamster wheel in my head was formulating.  Are you saying you are so sick and broken with old age that you can’t function like a normal human being by the age of 65?  That you need these many pills to function properly?  I don’t want that to be my life.  I glance at all the pills and she comments, “I don’t know what I would do without my doctor and herbalist.”  I thought, didn’t say, “Maybe take less pills?”

I did some research and found that almost half of America takes at least one prescription drug with one in six taking three or more. About 130-million Americans take medication every month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. People in the United States buy much more medicine per person than any other country. According to an article written in 2005 by World and Nation, sales of prescription drugs were up two-thirds from the last decade to 3.5 billion yearly. Shockingly, more than 125,000 Americans are killed by drug reactions and mistakes which makes drug reaction the fourth highest killer in the United States. Most people are grateful to have a pill to take but is it really necessary?

For some people, pills are necessary for their condition but for others, it’s just abuse. Exercise and diet can fight diabetes and heart disease just as well as drugs – but popping the pill is easier than changing yourself. Maybe if people ate less meat filled with hormones and vegetables full of pesticides, we wouldn’t need as many drugs. Maybe if we lived in a world that didn’t confine you to a cubicle and force you in front of a screen for 8 hours a day, we’d have more freedom. Pre-historic man used to spend about four hours a day gathering food and the rest of the time playing. Modern man spends so much time at work and is so exhausted from his day, that the last thing a person wants to do is exercise. Modern man usually just plops down in front of the television to relax and go to bed without doing much movement. Maybe if we incorporated an hour or two of exercise into the day – people would be healthier. For now, drug companies are making billions off people’s misery and pain.

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