According to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, the total number of prescription drugs filled in the United States alone for the calendar year 2014 was 4,002,661,750 and according to Medscape Medical News the nation’s most prescribed drug is Synthroid (levothyroxine) used to treat hypothyroidism, while the antipsychotic Abilify (aripiprazole), an add-on treatment for adults with depression, had the highest sales.
Western medicine definitely has its place in our health system but I don’t believe it should be the only treatment in our health care system. The use of prescription pills to treat, modify, and control ailments has become the easy go-to for doctors and patients to treat physical and mental problems without much thought given to the underlying symptoms that created the ailment in the first place. But it’s more than that. While many doctors are loose with their prescription pads, we should also consider the patient—us—who have given up our power and in the trust we have given to our modern doctors, blindly take these pills. The same pills that so often do more harm than good with side effects that are often worse than the illness it’s supposed to control or cure!
I’ve seen this happen especially with older adults. The older someone gets, the more prescription bottles line the bathroom shelves. Are they all necessary? Maybe, maybe not. And what happens when the combination of some of those pills create additional side effects that need more medicine to treat them? It just adds another bottle to the shelf.
As prescription use and abuse continues to rise each year, it’s more important than ever to take back control over our choices and our bodies and open our minds to educate ourselves on other ways of healing (note, I am not saying cure but that can happen) with a more wholesome approach of well-rounded health support that includes dietary changes, movement, and other medicinal opportunities such as Ayurvedic and acupuncture and accupressure. There are certainly things such as hereditary and environmental factors that would be harder to change for a person’s health diagnosis but there are many health issues that can be controlled by ways other than Western medicine alone.
I am not saying that medicines are bad. Quite the opposite. Modern medicine has improved and even saved lives but we have come to a point where we’ve given up our choices and are relying solely on prescription medicines to make us feel better and treat illnesses rather than taking the time to address underlying health issues that are the incubus for what we are feeling. This goes for doctors and patients alike. Using medicine in conjunction with a more natural approach can reduce the amount of time we are on prescription drugs, which in turn reduces the number of side effects endured.
Prescriptions are great. They help and are at times, an absolute necessity to get a body back into a healthy state. But they also should be kept in prescriptive. There are wonderful doctors and nurses out there in the various fields of medicine, but I think we forget that they are human, too, and not all-knowing gods in white coats and stethoscope. And in reality, there are some who are too quick to write a script rather than initiate a deeper look as to the causes of illnesses. On the other hand, we, as their patients have to take things deeper and refocus on our own health and what may be causing our illness rather than focusing exclusively on what the doctor said. I strongly believe in getting a medical diagnosis if you’re feeling unwell, however, it’s what happens after that and what we do with that diagnosis is up to us—how much control are we willing to give to the drug companies and what we are wiling to change to feel better, which in turn will give us a better quality of life?
Faith is a wonderful thing but not when it is blind. We have become a society that too easily settles for Big Pharma. I have seen first hand what happens when we settle for what we’re told and I’ve seen first hand when control over our bodies is taken back into our own hands.
Friday’s Focus, and in fact, an everyday focus is to keep our prescription in perspective.
Keep taking it deeper!