America: A Pill Popping Nation

In a nation where fast food and fast drugs are the fad, we are propagating one of the most severely unhealthy lifestyles this Earth has ever seen. If you are too fat, take a diet pill, but heaven forbid you eat healthier, and work out. If you are anxious, take a pill, and push the intrinsic problem causing that anxiety deeper, we are sure you’ll be okay. If you are depressed, take a pill, and the chemical levels in your brain should be medically shifted to the point of true happiness, right? Wrong. So very wrong.

Going off of blogger Blue Elephant In The Room’s post, concerning the healing effects of meditation on the human body and mind, I wanted to point out the ways in which our country’s entire mentality on the issues of mental and physical illness lays in the healing hands of pharmaceutical companies. These companies definitely do not condemn or prevent unhealthy habits in Americans, because they make more money off of heart disease and bad cholesterol than they would off of healthy citizens.

And new research shows that our prescription drug use is on the rise. In a study done in November by the Journal of the American Medical Association, results found that Twenty-seven percent of adults were taking high blood pressure drugs, up from 20 percent a decade earlier, Use of antidepressants nearly doubled, increasing from seven percent to 13 percent, and among 18 types of drugs used by more than 2.5 percent of Americans, use increased for 11 medication types. These astounding statistics go to show that the problem we have as a nation right now is not with the drugs themselves, but with our increasing dependency on them to solve all of our medical problems, simply by popping a pill.

The reality of that truth means that a lot more people will be relying on companies that are looking to make a profit off of them to supply them with chemicals to ‘cure them’. Why would these companies EVER want to cure a disease that rakes them in billions of dollars a year? Dr. Katz of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center states that although these uses of medications are decreasing the U.S. death rate, “not dying isn’t the same as truly living, and that leads to the very ominous implications of this trend”.

Our reliance as a nation on pills provided by people looking to make a profit off of illness is a scary thought, just as is the thought that we are so reliant on these pills to bring us relief from sadness, stress, anxiety, etc. What about more natural approaches, like Mediation as Blue Elephant in the Room suggests? What about yoga to both provide bodily pain relief, and reduce levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. What about eating healthy and exercising to reduce cholesterol? It seems America’s problem is in the ideals that we ground our pill popping mentality in. We need to stop curing our ailments through the quick fix of pill popping, and start preventing and helping ourselves through proven natural remedies.

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4 thoughts on “America: A Pill Popping Nation”

  1. I could not agree more that we should focus on healthy alternatives to drugs. Many of these drugs often have terrible long term effects or are incorrectly prescribed. Doctors are often paid (or just given a lot of incentives) by big drug companies to promote a certain drug. It is so scary to me that a doctor could prescribe you a drug that, while probably is not bad for you, is not the best option for you, just so they can get something out of it. I have seen a trend in articles talking about healthy eating and living though, so hopefully more people will try that method.

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  2. This post highlights one of the biggest problem in American culture today– the “need” to fix problems now. We, as a society, want immediate solutions. We like to take the short route of getting liposuction rather than taking a couple months of a healthier lifestyle. We like to take pills that solve anxiety rather than working slowly over time to rewire our brains through therapy and mindfulness. We like to drive through a fast food joint and pick up a burger rather than taking the time to prepare a home cooked, healthier meal. It is this culture that is going to continue to lead us to a downward spiral where we begin taking pills for things we couldn’t imagine. Our children will not be able to do things on their own because they will be so used to a button doing things for them. It is so important that we bring this issue to light so that people can be reminded that faster is not always better. Putting time into something will always provide better results.

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  3. I think that it is important to note that Americans’ view of wanting a pill for every problem is not something indicative of the population but how the pharmaceutical industry is treated in this country. For instance, other than the United States and New Zealand no other country in the world allows pharmaceutical companies to run commercials for prescription drugs. This means that other countries in the world only advertise their drugs to healthcare professionals and not patients. Wanting faster solutions to problems isn’t American culture its human but how people are told that info is key, America’s healthcare (as well as insurance companies) also relies on more traditional medicine and only recently have preventative and natural methods been slowly introduced into certain clinics.

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  4. It is frightening to see the rising dependency that Americans place on pills and medications. I believe these pills are changing human behavior. Rather than being active and progressive in change, we remain passive and responsive. This is a problem because this kind of behavior will lead to dehumanization on a behavioral level. Humans are meant to be active, however, with these pills, we will become lazier. Imagine waking up in the morning and there is a row of pills layed out. There is a pill for food, a pill for caffeine, a pill for depression, and a pill with health vitamins. Nothing will be real.

    More so, if we keep placing high priority on pills and medications, what will this teach to future generations about the significance of taking pills? It will teach young people that taking pills is okay and this could encourage further drug-related. Potentially, these pill users will start to take a pill without considering its scientific makeup. This will encourage less scientific curiosity and research. The question is, how can we encourage people to be more active and less passive and dependent on pills?

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