Last updated: Friday, November 13, 2015
Legal Drug Dealers
Have you ever been an illicit drug addict only to find yourself having to deal with a new type of drug dealer? Actually “new” is not correct, “different” is probably a better term. It may seem cruel to refer to a doctor, physician or pharmaceutical companies as a drug dealer. I have been around since 1952. As I grow older and hopefully wiser I am more aware of certain things.
My health is good now and getting better, but I have had many problems; I will not bore you with a list. One thing I have learned is to challenge my doctors. Why? As stated earlier I am more aware and have noticed how quickly they will prescribe medication. At one point, I felt like I had relapsed. When you need a pill dispenser with 14 compartments (am and pm for each day) to keep track of your meds… Ah you may not be there yet! Keep living, your day may come; hopefully not.
Now I understand why some do not like going to the doctor. A few of my doctors were so persistent that they would mail me refills even after I had stopped taking the medication. The legal drug dealer, the legal drug pusher. Doctor’s have actually become angry when I refuse their medicine.
War on drugs; wrong target?
Maybe we should reconsider the target of our so-called “war on drugs”. What’s in your “medicine cabinet” or how many prescription drugs are you taking? Are they secure and unavailable to others?
In 2008, more people overdosed (unintentionally) on prescription drugs than on cocaine and heroin combined. [See NIH article, “National Institute on Drug Abuse”.]
In 2010, “… an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically for the first time within the past year…” [Source: NIH, “How many people abuse prescription drugs?”]
But of course why would the government go after the pharmaceutical companies? They are the good drug dealers, right? Legal maybe, good, hmm, that’s questionable.
Are you over-medicated?
Do you know anyone that is taking more than 5 medications? If you can answer yes, it is not surprising. The prescription drug business is extremely lucrative. According to a few sources Americans spent close to “$326 billion” on prescription drugs in 2012 (1, 2, 4). That number would be much higher if EVERYONE could afford to pay for every prescription. It is estimated that 48 million Americans could not afford to pay for a prescription in 2010 (3).
- (1) thinkprogress.org – “prescription drug spending drops“
- (2) cbsnews.com – “US prescription drug spending drops for first time in 58 years“
- This is a must read: (3) businessinsider.com – “See how much more Americans pay for prescription drugs 2012”
- (4) nytimes.com – “use of generics produces an unusual drop in drug spending“
I am a former drug addict/dealer; I never told my clients they would have to take my drugs “for the rest of their life”. Don’t believe the hype, the doctor is NOT always right.
Please DO NOT misunderstand what I am saying. In no way am I telling anyone to stop taking prescribed medication. No, not at all, you have to do what is best for you!
Do not forget, doctors are “practicing medicine” or “they diagnose and treat a symptom”, right? Well, based on my experience that is what I thought. But the answer is, no, that is not true. According to kevinmd.com
The entire profession is built on the premise; videre unum, noli unum, docent; see one, do one, teach one.
The best doctors remember… to teach their patients.
Are there alternatives to prescription drugs?
When diagnosed with high blood pressure, my doctor stated “you will have to take this medication for the rest of your life” [I will give full details in another post]. The same thing happened when diagnosed with high cholesterol and diabetes! I did not know to ask if there were alternatives. If we fail to ask, most doctors will not offer the information. Looks like they did not read Dr. Kevin’s blog. So few take the time to teach their patients.
By the grace of God I was delivered from illicit drug addiction overnight. With proper information / education, faith and discipline, I am no longer hooked on or taking the pharmaceutical companies’ drugs. This is how long it took to get each condition under control before I stopped taking medication:
- Diabetes: 18 months to keep up good glucose levels.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure): 38 months.
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol): 40 months and I am still working to raise my HDL.
How did we do it? [Why did I say we instead of I? It was my team of physicians, a nutritionist, God and me… we!] The physician diagnosed the problem and prescribed medication and made adjustments as needed. I did the following:
- Took the prescribed medication as prescribed; as routinely as possible.
- I asked if there were alternative solutions and was referred to a nutritionist.
- Prayed for guidance, so I would do the right thing and make wise decisions.
- Researched each condition via the internet to find alternatives, normally required a change in diet and exercise.
- Implemented various recommended changes (by trial and error). I will go into this in more detail in other posts/blogs to specify what was done for hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol.
- I visit my doctor every 3 to 4 months so we can check my progress. Full blood work is done at least once a year to check everything including my kidneys [highly recommended for diabetics]. Yes, I live by faith but I also use wisdom.
Again, I am not telling or encouraging anyone to stop taking prescription medication.
OK, I realize I am getting off track. So let’s get back to the point of this post.
Legal drug dealers prospering?
Did you know according to a NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics) Data Brief ■ No. 42 ■ September 2010?
Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007–2008
In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion in 2008, which was more than double what was spent in 1999. [Source: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. National Health Expenditure Accounts, Historical.]
Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44% to 48%. The use of two or more drugs increased from 25% to 31%. The use of five or more drugs increased from 6% to 11%.
Be smart, be informed; ask the right questions!
Be smart, stay properly informed and ask your physician if there are alternatives to taking medication. Follow the reasonable advice given. I know we cannot believe everything we read on the internet but it is a good place to acquire information.
I am sharing my information to help in any way I can not to cause confusion. Many of us go through things for the benefit of others; I believe many of my experiences allow me to be able to minister to others. Are you more inclined to take the advice of someone with experience over someone who just read or was taught?
My current area of learning is dealing with diverticulosis and diverticulitis; both conditions are supposedly not reversible. So say the learned in the medical profession. For 3 months I tolerated mild abdominal pain on my left side. I decided to look into it. After a CT scan, which revealed diverticulitis, followed by a colonoscopy my physician advised that I increase my fiber intake.
That was it, increase fiber intake. There is much more that should be done… follow me, I will post the results of my research and tell you more about this condition.
The bottom line
There are some excellent doctors/physicians out there, but there are also many who can be considered legal drug dealers! Do you know someone who is taking more than 5 prescription drugs? I have witnessed loved ones taking more than 20 different prescriptions per day. Are they being helped or hurt/damaged by the combination of drugs? “Take this to protect you from the side effects of that”… sound familiar? Some pharmaceutical companies offer programs to help people afford the cost of their drugs, brilliant idea (I can’t help but laugh at the thought). I only wish I could find out how much they spend employing lobbyists to help get their drugs and patents… Wait, what is wrong with me, we have the internet and Wikipedia, etc. I’ll just use my friend Google search “pharmaceutical company lobbying” and “most profitable prescription drug” and oh my the information is available.
To help make sure the status quo on U.S. drug regulation and pricing, the pharmaceutical industry has thousands of lobbyists in Washington, DC that lobby Congress and protect their interests. The pharmaceutical industry spent $855 million, more than any other industry, on lobbying activities from 1998 to 2006, according to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity. Excerpt from Wikipedia ‘Pharmaceutical industry‘
[note: if you click on the link, hold your CTRL key and press the letter “f”, release the CTRL key and type lobby. You should see the word lobby highlighted throughout the page. Go to the section labeled ‘Controversy about drug marketing and lobbying’]
Business Insider ‘The 10 Best Selling Blockbuster Drugs 2012”
I will stop now, hopefully, you are at least more aware of the potential danger. We must wake up and face the reality, pharmaceutical companies and doctors have become the legal drug dealers. The question is, are the drugs they dispense legally as dangerous as illicit drugs (read the article “Are Your Prescriptions Killing You“)?