Americans Are Overmedicating

April 8th, 2012 by Dr. Keith Nemec

About 130 million Americans swallow, inject, inhale, infuse, spray, and pat on prescribed medication every month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates. Americans buy much more medicine per person than any other country in the world.

The number of prescriptions has grown by two-thirds over the past decade to 3.5 billion yearly, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical consulting company. Americans consume even more nonprescription drugs, polling suggests.Recently, safety questions have beset some depression and anti-inflammatory drugs, pushing pain relievers Vioxx and – most recently – Bextra from the market. Rising ranks of doctors, researchers and public health experts are saying that America is overmedicating itself.

It is buying and taking far too much medicine, too readily and carelessly, for its own health and wealth, they say.Well over 125,000 Americans die from drug reactions and mistakes each year, according to Associated Press projections from landmark medical studies of the 1990s. That could make pharmaceuticals the fourth-leading national cause of death after heart disease, cancer and stroke. The pharmaceutical industry served up more than $250 billion worth of sales last year, the vast majority in prescriptions, according to industry consultants. That is about $850 spent on drugs for every American.

“We are taking way too many drugs for dubious or exaggerated ailments,’’ says Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of “The Truth About the Drug Companies.’’ “What the drug companies are doing now is promoting drugs for long-term use to essentially healthy people. Why? Because it’s the biggest market.’’ The nation also overindulges far too often with its medication use, the critics say, and violates the classic proscription of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates: “First, do no harm.’’

Drug safety researcher Dr. James Kaye, of Boston University, remembers a medical school teacher telling the class: “All drugs are poisonous!’’ Hospital patients suffer seven hard-to-foresee adverse drug reactions and another three outright drug mistakes for every 100 admissions, estimates Dr. David Bates, a researcher at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. That translates into 3.6 million drug misadventures a year.

Drug makers, doctors and patients have all been quick to medicate some conditions once accepted simply as part of the human condition. Around the country, prescription drug sales have pushed relentlessly upward by an annual average of 11 percent over the past five years. The aging population is partly at fault, with its attendant ailments like cancer, heart attacks, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Other conditions have mysteriously proliferated, including asthma, diabetes and obesity. Exercise and better diet ward off heart disease and diabetes just as effectively as drugs do, studies show. However, says Fred Eckel, who teaches pharmacy practice at the University of North Carolina, “There tends to be a reliance on drugs as the first option.’’

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Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec comments on Americans Are Overmedicating:

There are way to heal the body without and medications. Diet, exercise, and stress relief are healing to the body.

This study is just further confirmation of how far we have fallen from Hippocrates’s, the father of medicine, words. “Let your food be your medicine.” And Thomas Edison’s wise words, “The doctor of the future will use no medicine but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame in diet and the cause and prevention of disease.”This is just further confirmation of how far we have fallen from Hippocrates’s, the father of medicine, words. “Let your food be your medicine.” And Thomas Edison’s wise words, “The doctor of the future will use no medicine but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame in diet and the cause and prevention of disease.”So aptly put was the doctor’s statement “all drugs are poisonous.”This is just further confirmation of how far we have fallen from Hippocrates’s, the father of medicine, words. “Let your food be your medicine.” And Thomas Edison’s wise words, “The doctor of the future will use no medicine but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame in diet and the cause and prevention of disease.”So aptly put was the doctor’s statement “all drugs are poisonous.”If you keep medications in their proper place which is emergency medical necessity then they will help not hinder one’s total health but if you use them as a band aid to get rid of all your symptoms and conditions that you were designed to heal with the Seven Basic Steps to Total Health:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Food
  4. Sleep
  5. Exercise
  6. Fasting
  7. Prayer

This is just further confirmation of how far we have fallen from Hippocrates’s, the father of medicine, words. “Let your food be your medicine.” And Thomas Edison’s wise words, “The doctor of the future will use no medicine but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame in diet and the cause and prevention of disease.”So aptly put was the doctor’s statement “all drugs are poisonous.”If you keep medications in their proper place which is emergency medical necessity then they will help not hinder one’s total health but if you use them as a band aid to get rid of all your symptoms and conditions that you were designed to heal with proper diet, exercise, lifestyle, diaphragm breathing, water intake, sleep, fasting/detoxing and pray/meditation/stillness (these are all part of the then they will greatly hinder one’s total health. Remember the Seven Basic Steps to Total Health each and every day.

 

 

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