2013-05-02 / Columns

Health News

Can I get a prescription for that?

There is a time and a place when prescription medication may be needed. However, a great majority of chronic illnesses and diseases can be managed without the need for a dangerous medication and the associated side effects.

Prescription drugs NOT used as prescribed are becoming the drug of choice for adults and teens that are misusing and abusing pharmaceutical drugs. The number of people who report abusing or misusing pharmaceuticals is up in every age group –teens, adults over 21, and adults over 65 years old.

We are now living in a society that has a legal pill for everything. If something doesn’t feel good, we ask “Can I get a prescription for that?” The answer is usually “yes.” Are you sad? Does something hurt? Are you overweight? Too hungry or not hungry enough; sleepy or not sleeping? There’s a drug for that. There is a pill for every ill. It has become ingrained in our society that when we have a problem, we can seek out the solutions in a pill or silver bullet. Unfortunately, prescriptions can lead to drug dependence and addiction and nearly all have serious side-effects.

It was estimated that in 2009 there were 4.6 million drug-related emergency department visits. Only about 1 million involved the use of illicit drugs. The rest were due to pharmaceutical drugs. Of these about 50% were due to adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals that were taken as prescribed (either alone or in combination with another prescription drug, over the counter drugs, or supplements) and 45% were due to misuse or abuse of drugs taken alone or in combination with other drugs or alcohol.

We have developed the mistaken notion that drugs can “cure” everything. This mentality has led to the increase in the number of prescriptions we are taking and thus the rise in emergency department visits due to unintended consequences of use, abuse, and misuse of these drugs.

I often see this type of mentality in my patients as well. I ask them if they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Often they will say “No.” But when I look at their list of medications, they are taking a drug for high blood pressure or cholesterol. My next question is always: Why are you taking this drug if you don’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol? If the medication “cured” your problem you would no longer have a need for the drug anymore, right?

The next time you are given a prescription drug, use it as directed and get rid of the leftovers by taking them to a “take back” collection site or crush them and mix them with coffee grounds, kitty litter, or some other undesirable mix so that they do not become the source of harm that addiction and permanent side effects could cause yourself or someone else. Do not throw them in the garbage or flush them down the toilet.

I want to invite you to become a part of the growing trend of people who are willing to spend more time, energy, and resources on developing a healthy lifestyle. Instead of side-effects you will experience side-benefits and an addiction to feeling great!

Dr. Charles Weigel
Total Life Chiropractic
123 Lake Ave. West
Napoleon, ND

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