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. - www.fastcompany.com...
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. - www.wben.com...
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. - www.huxley.net...
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.