America on Drugs - We Are Out of Control! - OAWHealth

America on Drugs – We Are Out of Control!

America on Drugs – We Are Out of Control!...

Americaon Prescription Meds – Out of Control

  
Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN, CH, HHP

 

These days it seems we are constantly bombarded, more than ever, by the pressures of life – achieving
success, meeting deadlines, demanding jobs, questionable politics and an economic
crisis that seems to be always looming over our heads. Along with all of the
above there is a particular crisis that is becoming larger and larger – one
that is alarming and having more negative effect on Americans than most realize
or will acknowledge. What am I referring to? The fact that America is a country
on prescription meds in epidemic proportions! Not the illegal street drug concern
(although this is concerning, too), but the legal promotion and candy-like
selling of drugs that is encouraged and promoted by pharmaceutical companies.

As of 2013, nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription med, and more than half take two prescription meds, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers say. Their
study found that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkilling opioids are most
commonly prescribed. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more
prescription meds, according to the findings and published online in the
journal
Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"Often when people talk about
health conditions they're talking about chronic conditions such as heart
disease or diabetes," Dr. St. Sauver stated in a Mayo Clinic press
release.

"However, the second most
common prescription was for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a
huge issue and is something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs
were opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting
nature."

Nearly one in four women ages 50 to 64 were found to be on an antidepressant, with 13 percent of the overall
population also on antidepressants.

Studies also bring to light a
rise in children's use of meds to treat obesity and other illnesses that have
normally been considered adult health concerns. In Medco's 2007 estimation
close to 1.2 million American children now are taking meds for the following
conditions: Type 2 diabetes, sleeping disturbances and gastrointestinal
concerns such as heartburn. According to LaJeana Howie, a statistical research
scientist at the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, more than 7
percent of American schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 17 are taking at
least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties. "Although
the authors don't really talk about the diagnoses, ADHD is likely the most
overwhelming diagnosis. Oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety and depression
are other likely diagnoses," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of
developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Steven and Alexandra Cohen
Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park.

 

America's
Most Common Health Conditions for which Meds Are Prescribed

Heart Disease
Depression
Chronic Pain
Diabetes
Hypothyroidism
Heartburn/GERD/Gastrointestinal
Blood Pressure
Asthma/Allergies
High Cholesterol
Bacterial infections
Insomnia

 

The
Top 10 Prescription Meds & Sales from 2013-2014

Research firm IMS compiled a rolling
12-month history (October 2013 to September 2014) of the top 100 drugs by total
prescriptions and total sales in the United States. Below are the top ten.

Rosuvastatin – 22.3 million
prescriptions
Levothyroxine – 22.3 million prescriptions
Esomeprazole (Nexium, AstraZeneca) – 17.8 million prescriptions
Albuterol (Ventolin HFA, GlaxoSmithKline) – 17.8 million prescriptions
Fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline) – 14.5
million prescriptions
Insulin glargine injection (Lantus Solostar, sanofi-aventis) –
10,450,322
prescriptions

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse, Shire) –
10,147,910
prescriptions

Pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer) –
9,798,532 prescriptions
Tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Handihaler) –
9,555,794 prescriptions
Valsartan (Diovan, Novartis) –
9,470,735 prescriptions

 

America's
Most Expensive Chronic Health Conditions & Estimated Yearly Expense

1. Heart Conditions – $315.4
billion
2. Alcohol Related Disease – $223 billion
3. Cancer – $157 billion
4. Obesity – $147 billion
5. Arthritis and related conditions – $128 billion
6. Smoking – $289 billion
7. Diabetes – $245 billion

Research done in 2012 indicated that approximately half (117 million) of US
adults have at least one of the 10 chronic conditions examined (hypertension,
coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, weak or
failing kidneys, current asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
[COPD]). Furthermore, 1 in 4 adults has MCC (multiple chronic conditions). The
NHIS estimates of the percentage of adults with one or more of the chronic
conditions identified in the HHS standardized definition (3) are likely
conservative.

Every health condition listed
above can be prevented or successfully remedied with natural lifestyle changes
and without the use of drugs and surgery.

 


Overuse
of Prescription Meds – The NEW Epidemic

What has precipitated this
legal drug epidemic? The two reasons that stand out the most are the
"creation" of disease by either lowering the guidelines that
determine disease or by the development of a new disease (usually something that
has always been beign) to match a new drug and the huge media blitz from
pharmaceutical companies.

Creating Disease – In several instances during the last five to ten
years the guidelines used to decide what is actually disease and what is normal
has been lowered which automatically makes people who were considered well
yesterday, sick today! For example, in May, 2003 if you asked anyone, including
doctors what they considered a normal adult blood pressure to be, they would
have responded with 120/80 being ideal and under 140 acceptable. Not now.
According to new JNC-7 guidelines, 120/80 now puts people in a new disease
category called "pre-hypertension" and at increased risk for heart
attack, stroke, or kidney disease. This means that almost half of the world's
population is now classified as hypertensive or pre-hypertensive. The clincher?
Nearly every member of WHO panel (ones that decided upon changing the
guidelines) had close financial ties to drug firms. The most interesting fact
is that the probable benefit of prescription meds to remedy these health
concerns is usually highly exaggerated with side effects being minimized. Why
are the side effects minimized? Because experiencing these side effects usually
mean another trip to the doctor's office and a new medication to relieve the
side effect. Many doctors work as paid consultants to the pharmaceutical
industry and are often the ones writing the guidelines about who should take
the drugs.

Disease mongering is another
way that makes sure America stays on drugs. This situation is suggestive of the
attitude towards cholesterol. Twenty years ago, physicians were not concerned
about the effects that cholesterol might have on heart disease. Today, thanks
to efforts by pharmaceutical companies, high cholesterol levels are now
recognized as a major health concern. In fact, IMS Health, a global healthcare
information company, reports that the two best-selling drugs in 2004 were
statins: Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) from Pfizer (New York, NY, USA)-valued
at US$10.6 billion with growth of 13.9% over the previous year-and Zocor®
(simvastatin) from Merck (Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA). A pharmaceutical
executive noted: "The emergence of cholesterol reduction as a market was a
major event for pharma. Metabolic syndrome promises to be as big or
bigger". (Breitstein, 2004).

Lynn Payer, the late medical
journalist, addressed the issue in the early 1990s in her book Disease-Mongers:
How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick by writing:
"Disease-mongering-trying to convince essentially well people that they
are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill-is big business….
Disease mongering is the most insidious of the various forms that medical
advertising, so-called medical education, and information and medical diagnosis
can take." And Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics at the University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, told the TV program 60 Minutes, "If you want
to stir up worry in the public, and you've got the advertising dollars to do
it, you can turn almost anything into a disease." The subject of this 60
Minutes report was the recent emerging market for adult attention deficit
disorder (ADD)-the traditional view of conventional medicine was that ADD
afflicted only children and they would almost always eventually outgrow it.

Media Blitz – In 1997 the FDA lifted the ban on direct-to-consumer
advertising and included a law that required media ads to list every possible
side effect. You would think that by listing all the possibly side-effects it
would actually deter people from asking their doctors for the advertised meds.
That's not exactly what happened. American television viewers (just from TV)
now see as many as 16 hours of prescription drug advertisements each year! After
the lifted ban, Americans were literally bombarded with commercials for
prescription drugs through TV, magazines, radio, newspapers, billboards and the
Internet. Right now the US and New Zealand are the only countries in the world
where a person can turn on the TV and hear a voice encouraging them to 'ask
your doctor if this drug is right for you'. How's that for making sure that
every mind in America, from young to old, is planted with the suggestion that
they "need" drugs. Pharmaceutical understand the "power of
suggestion" very well. Evening prime time TV airs at least two drug
commercials per 30 minutes. These commercials contain high emotional appeal and
usually depict the drug as being a significant "break-through". This
is purposefully used to get people's attention. Because of this media blitz for
certain drugs, doctors will often prescribe drugs to patients even if they
don't think they need it. For example, one study suggested that 54% of the time
a doctor will prescribe a specific brand and type of medication, if patients
specifically ask for it.



Getting
America OFF Drugs and Back to Good Health

Most people have lost the
definition of good health and no longer remember what it feels like to be
energetic, mentally alert, pain free and emotionally stable. We have become a
society that has given away the responsibility for our health to an industry
that reeks of greed and corruption and with no smidgen of concern for our best
interest. And our reward for giving away this responsibility has been ill health,
endless prescription meds and an empty pocketbook. It is time to learn how to
take responsibility for our own health and well-being. It’s time for every
person to get into the mode of prevention. No one knows YOU better than YOU. We
must not allow fear to keep us from stepping up to the plate and taking control
of our health. Big Medicine, Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Government (FDA), Big
Chemical and Big Insurance are keeping us sick, fearful and poor. Good health
does not put money in their pockets.

The decision to take back your
health is one decision that you will not regret. Thousands are doing it and
experiencing not only good health, but the satisfaction of being in control of
their well-being. Yes, it takes time and is usually not convenient – things
that are lasting usually do. Below are some suggestions for those that want to
begin the path back to good health and well-being.

 

Natural Suggestions for Taking Back Your Health

Cleansing and Detoxification – Cleansing and detoxification,
historically, has been recommended by doctors for thousands of years. This is
important and should always be the FIRST STEP in helping so support the body’s
natural ability to heal and repair. Because the body is constantly bombarded
with chemicals, toxic air, water and food, prescription meds, bacteria and
viruses, as never before, it is a "must" to make sure that it
undergoes a thorough cleansing several times a year. 80% of the immune system
is located in the digestive tract and it just makes sense to keep it running
effectively. Constipation is at epidemic proportions and can be the root-cause
of many illnesses. There are hundreds of cleanses and detoxification strategies
that are very useful. Personally, I have found thatoxygen-based-cleansing gives the quickest and best results for
total digestive tract cleansing since it cleans from the small intestine down
and provides oxygen to the digestive tract. It is also wise to perform a parasite cleanse and a heavy metal
cleanse
< 2-3 times yearly.


Healthy Diet – Many of the health concerns listed in this article can be
controlled and/or eliminated by a healthy diet alone. Not fad diets that promote chemical-laden and pre-packaged foods, but a healthy diet that promotes fresh and living foods. According to the CDC State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables 2013: “Fruits and vegetables (F&V)
contribute important nutrients for the human body. Eating Fruits and Vegetables
lowers the risk of developing many chronic diseases and can also help with
weight management.” A healthy diet will consist of lots of fresh,
organic, in-season fruits and vegetables; organic nuts and seeds; healthy oils
and fats such as coconut, hemp seed, flaxseed and olive oils as well as
organic, free-range dairy and meats. Eliminate refined sugar, sodas,
hydrogenated oils, pre-packaged foods, fast foods, GMO foods, white flour and
hormone and antibiotic-laden meat and dairy. Try to eat five small meals every
day rather than three large meals.

Water – The only liquid that the body requires and needs is pure, clean
water. Every cell in your body needs water to function correctly. Water also
helps to flush the body of toxins. Americans could save a bundle on their
grocery bills and doctor visits if they would drink pure and clean water only.
However, since most municipal water is toxic it is imperative to install good
filters on faucets and showers or whole-house filtration systems. Now
that the plastic companies have been forced into honesty about the hazards of
packaging water in plastic bottles,
water carafe filters are a very wise investment. They are
inexpensive and can be taken to work, on outings and vacations and used at
home. Distilled water packaged in glass is also a good choice. I suggest adding
2-3 tablespoons of
organic raw apple cider vinegar to every gallon. Try to drink ½ of your
body weight in ounces of pure, clean water every day.

Exercise – The average office worker in the US sits for a total of six
hours daily. America is the most obese country in the world and obesity is
becoming epidemic in our children – most likely because physical education
classes and recess has been drastically reduced or taken out of public school
curriculums. Exercise helps in the elimination of toxins, helps to keep the
intestinal tract moving, helps with the circulatory system and is great for
depression. Jumping on a mini-tramp, a 30-40 minute daily walk or a daily
sports activity will help your body with elimination of toxins, keep your heart
healthy and will help to keep the lymphatic system moving.

Food-Grade Supplementation – Food-grade supplements are necessary now more
than ever before. Farming practices that adulterate the soil, genetically modified
foods and questionable practices in organic farming mean that our food does not
contain the levels of nutrients that it once did. For example, The Kushi
Institute of Becket, Massachusetts studied USDA nutrient data from 1975 and
1997 and uncovered a disturbing trend. Average calcium levels in 12 fresh
vegetables have declined 27 percent, iron levels have dropped 37 percent,
vitamin A levels, 21 percent; and vitamin C levels, 30 percent. – from an
article by Kathryn Scharf – <http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/1999/food_security/msg00531.html. Make it a practice to read supplement
labels and refuse to buy supplements that contain excipients, fillers and
binders. At the very least, everyone should take a good
vorganic multi-vitamin/mineral supplement< every day.

Emotions and Stress – Negative emotions, stress, anger, resentment,
jealousy, unhappiness, victim-mentality, etc. can bring the body and immune
system down very quickly. Most don't realize the relationship emotions and
stress have to illness and disease. Several natural doctors have noted that
high stress levels may be a huge factor in the development of serious disease.
Negativity is rampant in our society. More and more children are prescribed
antidepressants now than any other time in history. Many times if a doctor
cannot pinpoint a diagnosis, they will offer an antidepressant.

The following are nutraceutical
suggestions that can help with stress and emotions:
B Complex, Lithium Orotate, adrenal complexes, hormone balancing, daily walk in nature, meditation,
positive affirmations, EFT tapping, practicing 20 minutes of quiet and deep
breathing every day, 30 minutes of sunshine without sunglasses or sunscreen
every day, healthy diet, intake of adequate essential fatty acids, reading
up-lifting books, listening to
soothing music, relaxing baths or foot baths,
reflexology, massage, chiropractic, limiting TV, pursuing a hobby, volunteer
work and more. Synthetic anti-depressants are not usually a good answer, they
are only a band-aide.


In conclusion: There is always a
safe and effective answer to most every health concern if you approach the body
as a whole – mind, body, spirit. We are not just "livers",
"hearts", pancreases", "minds",
"intestines", "stomachs" or "bones and joints".
This is the mind-set and thinking of conventional medicine. It is time for
Americans to rethink the role of drugs in their lives in relationship to
natural health actions that can be taken to prevent disease and maximize
wellness, such as the suggestions that are mentioned in this article. Of course,
prescription meds can be life saving for some health conditions and trauma, but
in most circumstances, changes in lifestyle toward health and well-being along
with taking the time needed to work on yourself (emotionally) will
produce lasting and satisfying results of good health and wellness.


References

100 Most
Prescribed, Best-Selling Branded Drugs Through September 2014.
November, 2014. www.medscape.com/viewarticle/834273
LaJeana Howie, M.P.H., statistical research scientist, U.S.
National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, developmental and behavioral
pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York,
New Hyde Park; April 2014, NCHS Data Brief, Use of Medication Prescribed for Emotional or Behavioral
Difficulties Among Children Aged 6-17 Years in the United States, 2011-2012.

New blood-pressure
guidelines pay off – for drug companies
by staff reporter Duff Wilson. June, 2005. The Seattle
Times.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans
, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC:
U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010.

Why Do Americans Take So Many Prescription Drugs? By J. Douglas Bremner,
MD. America's Most Expensive Medical Conditions by Allison Van Dusen, February,
2008. Forbes.com.

Creating Demand for Prescription Drugs: A Content Analysis of Television
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising. Authors: Dominick L. Frosch, PhD1,2,
Patrick M. Krueger, PhD3,4, Robert C. Hornik, PhD2,5, Peter F. Cronholm, MD,
MSCE6 and Frances K. Barg, PhD6. Annals of Family Medicine 5:6-13 (2007).

The Making of a New Disease. Pharma Exec 1 Jan, www.pharmexec.com
Breitstein J (2004)

Loretta Lanphier, NP, CN,
HHP, CH
is a
Naturopathic Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner
and Clinical Herbalist in Houston, TX and Founder / CEO of Oasis Advanced
Wellness, LLC. Under her leadership, Oasis Advanced Wellness is known and
respected as one of the leading natural health companies in providing safe,
non-toxic health and wellness products along with customized natural health
programs. Loretta is the author of five natural health and wellness e-books
including
Optimum Health Strategies…Doing What
Works
and the
newly-revised
Proven Secrets to Whole Body Hormone
Balance… You Can Feel Good
.
She is also Editor-in-Chief and contributor to the worldwide Free E-newsletter
Advanced Health & Wellness.. We invite you to visit us at Oasis
Advanced Wellness
. 

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