Page 1 of 2
I happened to be watching television the other day and, instead of my usual flipping channels during commercials, I left it on the channel and saw a few interesting commercials. The first commercial showed a parent heading off a potential drug problem with their child. It had a slogan: “Parents – the anti-drug”. It was a nice public service kind of commercial and hopefully one that people will take to heart. Interestingly, the next commercial showed a parent with their child too but in this commercial instead of the parent trying to keep their child off drugs, they were giving them a drug. The child had a cold with a sore throat and couldn’t sleep. So this angelic figure of a mom was saving them from misery by giving them an over counter medicine, which if you look at the ingredients, amounts to sugar and alcohol with a little dye and artificial flavoring in it (none of which help the child to heal whatever is going on). Within the next hour I saw about a dozen more commercials for one drug after another. There were drugs for depression, headaches, low libido, indigestion, and a whole slew of other ailments. There were even commercials that never said what the drug was for but had lively music and showed scenes of very happy people and simply said to contact your physician to see if it was right for you. The extensive list of side effects for all these drugs, many of which were worse than the ailment the drug was being taken for, was of course, tagged at the end spoken very quickly and very quietly. Recent studies report that the 35% increase in the cost of drugs in the U.S. is not because of the rising cost of manufacturing it, but because people are taking more of them. In fact statistics from 2001 show that 62% of all doctor visits result in drugs being dispensed and that an average of 43% of Americans are taking prescription drugs on a regular basis (over a 12 month period) and that the number is increasing each year. This is in comparison to the 8% of Americans who have used some type of illegal drug, either occasionally or regularly, over the same 12 month period.
I have to wonder, where is the real drug problem? How do we expect our kids to “just say no” to drugs with the media portraying drugs as being the great panacea and when many adults are on several prescriptions as well as giving their kids drugs to avoid any type of discomfort? There seems to be such an incredible double standard. You can take these drugs because the “authorities” say they are OK but not these drugs they say are not. The “good drugs” may be just as addictive and have as many or more side effects as the “bad drugs” but that’s OK because with a prescription they then have the magic stamp of approval. It’s OK for this person who is depressed to take Prozac to give them a boost and make them feel artificially OK whenever the world gets to be too much but the drug addict who is most likely experiencing more emotional/mental pain than the average person could imagine is wrong for doing essentially the same thing. Kids grow up having their parents or doctors give them various drugs for the slightest discomfort, drugs that are not intended to strengthen their bodies and help them to heal, but to cover up the symptom, which ultimately weakens the body. Then we wonder why as the kids get older and feel whatever angst they experience in their lives and need a little “pick me up” they go to drugs or alcohol. Maybe it’s because that is what they learned you do when you feel uncomfortable. You “take something” to make the pain go away so you can supposedly feel better. They didn’t learn to see the discomfort as a message from the body asking to make a change or telling you that it was working hard to heal something so please do healthy things. They didn’t learn that discomfort is uncomfortable but not life threatening and that the body given time will heal most things and become stronger in the process. They didn’t learn that the peaks and valleys are part of life and can make it fuller if you learn to flow with it and approach it like a roller coaster ride, sometimes scary and sometimes a blast. They learned that if you are uncomfortable, take a drug to make it better. My body is not capable of healing so I need a drug to do it for me.