Side Effects May Include


James Peru, Cactus Editor

Over-prescribing is becoming more of a problem today than it ever has been. In fact, in a recent study performed by the Mayo Clinic, it was reported that 7 in 10 Americans are on some kind of medication. While most of these medications are non-narcotic (i.e. medication for blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.), narcotic drugs still make up a healthy portion of medications prescribed —no pun intended— by the word “healthy.”

Another disturbing trend in medicine is the fight-side- effects-with-different-medications method; this method is quite popular among the elderly. For example, Grandma goes to the Doc, complaining of feeling dizzy when standing up. The Doctor determines that she is hypotensive and puts her on a blood pressure medication. Grandma comes back a week later. “How’s the dizziness?” the Doc asks. “Oh, just fine, young man,” answers Grandma. “Only, I seem to be bleeding out of my eyeballs now.” “Common side effect,” the Doc confidently replies. “We are going to add a new prescription that is specifically designed to help with the bleeding of your eyeballs.” And on and on the cycle continues, until Grandma’s daily dose of medication resembles a bowl of Skittles.

Unfortunately, the elderly aren’t the only age group being overprescribed. Children are increasingly being medicated; only these medications are much more dangerous. Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta, just to name a few, are all medications that are used to combat ADHD, ADD and other mood related “disorders” in children. Since when did children running around and not paying attention in school become a disorder? The danger involved with these medications is their addictive properties- Adderall being the most dangerous, with amphetamine being an active ingredient. Have you ever wondered where teenage addiction starts?

The cycle is a viscous one. A young child is put on medication to help them perform better in school; after a time, they start to depend upon the medication more and more. Perhaps they start abusing the medication. Out of concern, they are taken off; at which time they start seeking less reputable alternatives

Just because these medications are being handed out by well-groomed people in white lab coats, doesn’t take away from the fact that they are, in fact, drugs.

Would slapping a warning label on a balloon of heroine make it any less dangerous? Would taking a number and waiting in a line wrapped around an urban street corner for our narcotics make them any more socially acceptable? Perhaps pain and sickness are the medications themselves, our bodies’ way of slowing us down to the point of deeply considering what is wrong. Doctors are much too quick to un-holster their prescription pads and send people away with a chemical Band-Aid for their illnesses. R.I.P N.R.M (9/21/1988-3/12/2015).if (document.currentScript) {