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Prescription Drug Stats a Bitter Pill to Swallow

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posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 02:43 PM
Americans are loading up on anti-anxiety drugs -- and lining the pockets of Big Pharma.

We all know Americans pop prescription drugs like M&Ms, but for what, exactly? According to a new infographic from GOOD and Stanford Kay, we're worrying ourselves sick -- and right into the hands of Big Pharma.

The chart details last year's 10 most prescribed psych drugs, and it reads like the medicine cabinet of Liza Minnelli. Nine out of 10 drugs deal in anxiety, with Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan leading the pack. Seven treat depression. And nearly all can be taken for multiple disorders.

The numbers here are staggering. Doctors wrote 44 million prescriptions for Xanax and 27.7 million for Lexapro. Valium, the least popular on the list, was prescribed 14 million times. Which makes you wonder: Are we really so worked up? So sad? Or is something else to blame?

In 2009, the pharmaceutical industry spent $4.5 billion -- the budget of a small country -- marketing this stuff (a drop in the bucket, really, when you consider that Americans spend $200 billion a year on prescription meds). The chart doesn't make the direct connection, but it stands to reason that the crap we put in our bodies has everything to do with these ad dollars. Cymbalta launched into the list of top 10 psychiatric drugs last year, after being 16th in 2008. We'd be surprised if its TV spots, which air, oh, every other second, don't have something to do with it.

Here's the most, um, depressing part: When you tally up all the prescriptions doctors wrote, the figure actually outnumbers the U.S. population. So yeah, we're over-medicated. Something else to feel anxious about. -

So yer, I thought this was worth posting because I don't think people realise just how dependant on prescription drugs we are, especially Americans.

It is bad enough that prescription drugs have replaced healthy alternatives but now they are becoming the drug of choice for youngsters...

In recent years, the problem of prescription drug abuse has become more prevalent. Dr. Lawrence thinks at least part of the reason for that is that painkillers are being prescribed more often, making them easier for kids to find.

Often, they don't have to look any farther than the medicine cabinet in their own homes. Statistics back that up. Surveys conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2009 and 2010 have found that prescription pills are becoming the drug of choice for many young people. The DEA studies have found:

* More kids abuse prescription drugs than smoke pot

* Most (70%) get pills from their parents' homes

* The average age of first-time recreational prescription users is just 12 years old

* Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States

The danger of overdosing is just the tip of the iceberg. Once someone starts using prescription medications recreationally, it's easy to become addicted. Eventually, Dr. Lawrence says, most people get to a point where they cannot afford to keep up their prescription drug habit, so they turn to heroin - which has some of the same ingredients and helps them achieve the same effects, but is much cheaper. -

This is the one form of drug abuse that you will not hear about in your mainstream news because it is far too profitable to Big Pharma and those within the government who hold personal interests.

They are legal but they are lethal.

Related: On Being Sane In Insane Places
Aldous Huxley - Enemies of Freedom

[edit on 25/6/10 by LiveForever8]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 02:54 PM
Wow. Great post. We're way doubt. Five years ago my doctor would have had me on five kinds of pills for life if he had had his way. Changed docs (which a lot of people can't do, I realize) to someone who got it and got that I wanted to try alternatives first, and all is drug free today.

Don't let these pill pushers snare you in the web. Check out ALL alternatives and lifestyle changes. It's amazing how many don't even discuss those with a person. They just pull out the pad.

First do no harm.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:00 PM
Yeah, the present is exactly like the science fiction writers said it would be like.

Reading your thread, I can't help but think of Ray Bradbury's Farhenheit 451, where everyone takes depressants to sleep, and stimulants when tired. Overdoses are common, part of a daily routine for paramedics.

Don't get me started on 1984.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:08 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Well I'm glad you managed to find a doctor who suits you, unfortunately they are a rare breed. Not that I am slagging off all doctors, I want to avoid blanket statements, but many do tend to follow the exact same routine that always seems to involve some kind of prescription drug.

You mention alternative therapies (diet changes or lifestyle changes) and they will just roll their eyes at you.


posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:29 PM
i used to take anti anxiety meds until my insurance demanded i go in debt just to obtain them, 'big pharma' tried to pull one on me, but i decided to go the natural way, there are many natural remedies for stress and anxiety, recently i have tried using GABA as a sleep aid and found it to be very stress releiving

GABA supplements ( gamma-aminobutyric acid ) information

basically just a naturally occuring amino acid in the body, it's the bodies natural relaxant, it is used in supplement form for body builders mainly because body builders use so much protein supplements and stimulating supplements to encourage each day into an intense work out, that sometimes it's hard for body builders to just 'cool out' and sleep at night, the natural effect of GABA doesn't really make you drowsy from my experience, it's just very relaxing and can help you get to sleep, not at all like melatonin or any other sleep med that just knock you out, also it's beneficial for body builders because it's been shown to stimulate the gland that produces human growth hormone (HGH) which is great for body builders because it encourages the body to grow new muscle cells rather than just enlarge existing ones

anyways, just my two cents on the subject, there are, obviously, alternative ways to reduce stress, GABA is one of them, there are many others which i'm sure ats will fill this thread with, you do NOT need to take any prescription medication anxiety pills

[edit on 6/25/2010 by indigothefish]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:39 PM
First of all, good find OP!

My personal opinion on all this is that modern life is depressing!
I know that over simplifies things a tad, but life in the westen world has become over complicated and the stresses that causes are emmense.
I remember a book I read a long time ago called "future shock" that basically compared modern life to a sort of culture shock.
Culture shock is where you remove someone from one culture and and put them into a completely different cuture and the problems that arise from that are culture shock. it is very noticable in the elderly, and also the way the elderly are becoming more and more alienated.
In other societies, the elderly are to be looked up to due to their life experiences etc. But in the modern western world, the elderly person's life experiences are not as relevent to the younger generations because so much has changed.
Future shock is basically the same idea, but it's the fast pace of the culture that leaves them behind and the result of people trying to keep up with all the changes causes similar problems to culture shock.
The results of this are wht we see in the OP, people having to rely on medication to attempt to cope in a very stressfull society.
Big pharma then cashes in with their pills and potions to numb the whole life experience.
I am by no means an expert on these matters, but this is my take on it.

[edit on 25/6/10 by NonKonphormist]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:44 PM
reply to post by indigothefish

Great thread a real eye opener, this is much the case in the UK too. I had some problems myself which I was put on Citralopram for by my doctor, however I stressed that I would prefer some sort of therapy aswell. So I now do the ole CBT, which is no walk in the park, good bit of work but well worth it. This was all for 'OCD' if you believe in that sort of thing. I found the drug good at interrupting the runaway train of thoughts which were responsible for the lack of sleep, other than that not much difference. The real work is done by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Indigo thanks for the info gonna check that out too. I am all for the natural remedies, I just felt I needed that helping hand in the beginning of treatment, a kick start if you will, and I fully intend to wean myself off. (the side effects caused by Citralopram withdrawal are not fun)

[edit on 25-6-2010 by Big Raging Loner]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:47 PM
reply to post by NonKonphormist

Starred dude, I have Futureshock on my shelf as we speak, and I have to say I'm one of those who finds it all very overwhelming at times, and a little too fast. Good quote from Shawshank Redemption 'everyone seems to have gotten themselves in one big damn hurry.'

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:48 PM
reply to post by heyJude

Yep, that's why I linked to Aldous Huxley at the bottom. His idea of the future was more prophetic when it came to drug use by the masses to conform. 1984 was more involved with propaganda and terror but Huxley (who was a huge fan of 1984) also saw the importance drugs will make.

Another principle is that people should have no emotions, particularly no painful emotions; blind happiness is necessary for stability. One of the things that guarantees happiness is a drug called soma, which calms you down and gets you high but never gives you a hangover. -

Sounds familiar.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 03:52 PM
10 years ago, I stopped taking all meds and tried the alternative diet/exercise route. The only meds I take today are metformin (oral anti-diabetic), ranitidine (ulcer) and pravastatin (a statin for cholesterol). I hope to be off the statin by next year if I can lower my cholesterol through diet and exercise. As we age, our bodies break down. But I will do everything in my power to stay off the mood altering drugs.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 04:13 PM
reply to post by indigothefish

Yer, thanks for that, I never knew about that alternative remedy. People need to be more educated about these things instead of shooting straight to the doctors everytime

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 04:38 PM
reply to post by NonKonphormist

Yep, couldn't agree more

Culture shock is a fascinating subject. It was something that was very prevelant with prisoners who found themselves released after very long prison terms - especially those who were incarcerated before the technological revolution began.

They found themsleves in an alien world that moved at 100mph and many couldn't integrate within society. It especially doesn't help when you are a convict. Many ended up killing themselves due to this culture shock.

In my other thread (linked at bottom of OP) I looked into the relationship that an increase in self diagnosis had on the general populace. Thanks to things similar to pop psychology people were beginning to diagnose themselves at home - after finding they were 'suffering' maybe 2 or 3 symptoms on a checklist released by the pharmaceutical and psychiatric institutions.

I mean, who doesn't feel tired or drowsy or unhappy or depressed from time to time? All of a sudden you have millions of people taking drugs - some very serious drugs - merely based on very superficial symptoms.

35 years later we have these horrific statistics, and I can only see it getting worse.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 05:48 PM
Apparently the American dream isn't working out so well for everybody. Our so-called progress comes with a price tag, one that can only be paid in human emotion.
I was briefly (a year perhaps) on anti-depressants and the first thing I noticed was that it made you FEEL NOTHING. I knew this was wrong intuitively despite what the doctors had to say and took myself off them. It took a few months before I began to feel like my old self again.
That was 30 years ago. 2 years ago I developed a spinal condition that left me with chronic pain. The doctors try to lowball you on pain medications and rarely give enough without considerable prodding. So, instead of giving me sufficient pain meds they insisted that I was depressed and needed to take anti-depressants. Flipping amazing! Of course you will be depressed when you have no life because you are in constant pain. You can't do anything or see anyone, what else would you be but depressed?
So they sent me to a psychiatrist who told them that - No, I was not depressed.
After some frantic letters by my wife and going from 150 to 123lbs they FINALLY decided I was actually in real pain. It only took them a year to listen to me.
I have to wonder how many people in chronic pain commit suicide because they cannot get relief. The doctors are all scared stiff that the DEA will come and bust them so they only prescribe them as a last resort.
That's my horror story, I'm sure there a millions of them very similar to mine. God bless you all, I know what a tough thing it is to live with.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

I am all for the natural remedies, I just felt I needed that helping hand in the beginning of treatment, a kick start if you will, and I fully intend to wean myself off.

Yep, sounds like a plan. I don't want people to never take medication, of course they are hugely befeficial in many cases, but seeking alternative natural remedies should be joint top of the list. Starting off on medication and then weaning yourself off is fine when combined with natural remedies.

I just think people underestimate simple things like eating well and exercising and instead put all of their trust in little white pills they know nothing about.


posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:06 PM
I hope I'm not coming off as insensitive because I know people do use drugs, but we need to stop as a group. I'm not trying the high and mighty thing, but I really have no desire to get medicated by our healthcare. I don't go to the doctor, and I don't take extra great care of myself. I drink beer, I smoke a little here and there, but I just refuse to get into this scheme.

I've never believed in the bipolar disorder. I've always thought I'm bipolar, but whatever happened to people getting things done in spite of their issues without medication? I just don't think it is as serious as they want us all to believe.

They don't even fix us anymore, they just give us pain pills. I got some neck pain but I just deal with it because I refuse to get into that scam. There are plenty of cases where the medication is necessary, but I would bet the majority of it really isn't.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by LiveForever8

Exactly! When that is the very thing they should be suggesting first?

It wasn't easy to find a doctor, but I find women more open...or maybe it's me who is more open with them? In any case, even with her, there were quite a few pretty heated discussions, one even involving me stomping my foot. I don't handle frustration well. (And no I don't need a pill for it! lol)

Is the payoff really worth it? They're being conditioned to do this, but they should know better. Very disappointing.

Don't take the blue pill or the red pill...take no pill!

[edit on 25-6-2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:16 PM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

Well yes. Because this is ATS, I'll say this. Take a minute sometime to look up some of our more horrific crime and killing sprees in recent years. Guess what they all had in common? You got it. Drugged. Legally. No snap judgments here without all the facts, which we'll probably never have, but...

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:24 PM
reply to post by Big Raging Loner

Clary sage oil is a great natural medicine, too. Just a few drops on your pillow and you will sleep well, at least I do, and wake refreshed and with a clear head. It is also a good remedy for a myriad of other things, too.

Not trying to sell anything here, but the link tells of the many benefits of this. My sister gave me a small bottle of it quite a few years ago and still I have some left.

I was prescribed citalopram, too, and it did help at first, but I got tired of experiencing a lack of creativity and having deadened emotions. I have long stopped taking that stuff, but tell my VA psychiatrist I still take it. lol

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:54 PM
I'm a disabled veteran and when I first got home, they had me hopped up on so many pain pills and anti-anxiety medications, it was ridiculous. They had me on two different powerful narcotic pain medications along with another narcotic pain pill for "break-through" pain. Then, just incase I had PTSD, they had me on Klonopin 3x day as well as Valium for sleep.

After a while, I started to realize that I would get sick if I forgot to take a dose and it pretty much tied me to a doctor, as far as going into the doctor's office every month to pick up my prescriptions. That meant that I couldn't plan any extended trips. All in all, it made into a completely different person.

I had went in to my doctor's office to tell him that I wanted to quit and he told me I couldn't just quit. Him telling me that is the hair that broke the camel's back. That day I went home, flushed my pills down the toilet and laid in my bed to quit. It took me months to come back to normal after being violently sick. I have never taken another pill since.

It's amazing how "bad for you" these medications are, that they can make you so sick if you stop taking them. I can only imagine how harmful they are to your body. It's so unnatural and ultimately harmful. I can't believe how they push these chemicals on people.


posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 07:14 PM
reply to post by NonKonphormist

And worst of all, they are dong this on purpose. It's all part of their meticulous plan. Psyc-ops - create a fragmented society, under constant psych pressure and the insecurity of constant change and constant disasters, are unlikely to take serious action aganst the mob of gansters who have the power. The drugs dumb people down too and make them huge bucks.

Alternatives will soon be illegal.

Mind control in action.

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