The Growing Influence of Prescription Drugs

I'm always torn on how best to present this sort of information. On the one hand I believe that prescription drugs are handed out far too casually in the US and that television advertising of them is an overwhelmingly bad thing.

On the other I don't want to promote a paranoid approach where people refuse to take drugs that would dramatically benefit their lives. It's hard to make the middle ground an enticing proposition.

But the truth is not that prescription drugs are bad for you. It's that casual or uninformed use of prescription drugs is bad for you.

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proxy?container=focus&gadget=a&resize h=100&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdailyinfographic.com%2Fwp content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F03%2Fprescriptiondrugs infographic e1332634609484 The Growing Influence of Prescription Drugs

Your Brain on Prescription Drugs [infographic] | Daily Infographic
Prescription drugs are one of contemporary America's most pervasive evils.

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13 thoughts on “The Growing Influence of Prescription Drugs

  1. March 25, 2012 at 12:07

    some doctors sort of promote casual or uninformed use and that is what irks me the most.

    i think we are far too dependent on drugs as a whole.

  2. March 25, 2012 at 12:17

    I'm often tempted to stop taking all prescription drugs just to see how fast I die. On second thought, I'll keep the Xanax at least until the elections are over.

  3. March 25, 2012 at 12:19

    I hate! that I need allergy pills. I hate it. For 9/10ths of the year, I resist taking them…though my life would be ostensibly better if I did. Unfortunately, I actually do need them for about a month to 2 months , when cedar gets high.

  4. March 25, 2012 at 12:56

    Im a pharmacy technician, and the things you will learn about the drug industry can be quite horrifying. I think the worst thing of all is that pharmaceutical companies will pay doctors and hospitals to prescribe their drug specifically over others. Not to mention the hold they have over the DEA, (which can be a very corrupt organization). Some medications are necessary to maintain life for some people. What gets bad is that they are given dozens to alleviate the side effects of the one or two they need. Being informed about what you are taking and why is the key to a good drug treatment for any illness.

  5. March 25, 2012 at 13:22

    My dad just had open heart surgery, and I'm taking care of him, and the prescriptions are really a nightmare. The worst part is finding a doctor who pays any attention to the facts about this particular case, because Dad had a faulty valve, not full-blown heart disease, but they've got him on drugs they'd give a triple bypass. I think some of it is so routine that they don't even think they're handing out half a dozen unnecessary meds until you start asking serious questions about it. And who, after surgery and hallucination-inducing pain medications, can really sort through those things on their own? It's maddening.

  6. March 25, 2012 at 13:32

    Oh, and now that I've seen the infographic… I had to do research on the Fentanyl patch (an opioid) this week because they gave a box of them to Dad. Those can kill people who use them normally (even when they're not taking 14 other things). But the sickest part is that dumbasses chew the patches to get high, and then they die because it's 100x more powerful than morphine. I wonder if the sheer ease with which prescriptions are obtained makes people somehow think they're safe.

  7. March 25, 2012 at 13:36

    +Tejas Richard try oregano supplements! they have cut back my need to take allergy meds by a lot.

  8. March 25, 2012 at 13:51

    The Fentanyl patches and the father's heart surgery meds remind me of my own father's end days ordeals. He was stoked on vicodin the last year or so of his life. He did get the fentanyl patch (omitting the vicodin) and became hallucinatory. Scared the crap out of my mom. Smaller dose didn't ease the pain; larger dose had him freaking out on seeing people stealing his truck (which no longer existed) and large dogs wandering around the house. We could live with the dogs since he liked them, but the people wandering around the house had him so agitated we had to stop the patches and just let him take as many vicodin as he wanted until the hallucinations started again. Terrible to see him in so much pain. He understood the hallucinations when he was in right mind, so agreed that his vicodin should be limited. And that was just the pain pills. Warfarin, statins, BP meds, et al. I'm surprised he lived to 89.

  9. March 25, 2012 at 14:01

    +Marva Dasef similar thing here – we opted for more pain rather than the side effects of that patch (he only had one, and it was too crazy), so he's on massive hydrocodone doses now. I just can't believe people would chew that stuff voluntarily, knowing what it does to people who actually need it for pain management.

  10. March 25, 2012 at 15:49

    One thing that's potentially misleading (although probably not intentionally so) is how the infographic characterises acetaminophen as "an analgesic found in DXM-based remedies".

    Acetaminophen is a synonym for paracetamol, better known by its brand names Tylenol or Panadol, and most commonly used on its own, in cold/flu meds with phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, and/or paired up with codeine.

    It just seems odd that they should cherry-pick its secondary use in cough suppressants when it's really one of the most frequently-used analgesics and antipyretics in its own right.

  11. March 25, 2012 at 16:42

    I would prefer it if there were more to buy over the counter. If I am buying something and administering it myself I tend to do a lot of research to make sure it is perfect but if the doc prescribes it I tend to trust he knows what he is doing, but I have just discovered this week that they start you on the cheap drugs to see if you survive the side effects before moving you onto more expensive options.

  12. March 25, 2012 at 17:11

    +Ro Atkinson I take some supplements instead of or in addition to prescription drugs. For example, Red Yeast Rice was recommended by my doctor to take in addition to a statin. Not sure where you live, but most US health insurance companies encourage the use of generics because they're cheaper. I've not found a generic that didn't function the same as a name brand. Since I pay less for the generics, I'm all for it.

  13. March 25, 2012 at 17:17

    +Marva Dasef I guess it all depends on the individual but I have just had a disastrous miserable week and not known why but after about 5 days it occurred to me it might be a reaction to the statins I have been taking this last month. I stopped taking them and after about 3 days I feel a lot better. My boss says he was put on the same ones and ended up in hospital because of them. I heard something today about patients in the US being given better information about their treatment than they are here (UK). I am going to have a look at that Red Yeast Rice though. Thanks for the tip.

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