Pill-Popping paranoia

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By Corinne Love

Studies show Americans are overmedicated. (Photo Illustration by Justin Henderson)

By Corinne Love

America could possibly be the No.1 over-medicated country in the world.

Well, we have to be number one at something, right?

There is a pill for everything. Stress? Check. Blood Pressure? Check. Loneliness? Check. Restless Legs Syndrome? Yes.

The last one is real, there is a pill designed for people who have involuntary spasms in their sleep.

I “suffer” from RLS and yeah, a couple of times I may have woken up to my pillows being by the door but never have I thought to take a pill that would get rid of it.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention about 130 million Americans take prescribed medication.

Do we really need that much medicine?

Should we be able to reach over to a bottle and take out a pill to for the cure all?

Network television seems to have the answer, on any given night, during any time slot viewers can spot at least one commercial with a new pill to help fill-in-the blank ailment.

The commercials usually feature happy shiny people praising their new life thanks to the drug, and afterwards, a soothing voice gives viewers a grocery list of drug-induced symptoms followed by the subtle mention of death.

At some point, viewers can practically outweigh if the symptoms outweigh the ailment itself.

If you’re suffering from restless leg syndrome would you rather have drowsiness, watery eyes, headaches and an increased heart rate? Probably not so much.

The abundance of pharmaceuticals have been open to outright mockery in the arts.

Artist Camille Rose Garcia did a series of “Pharmaceuticools,” which showcased a eerie world full of pills and sickly consumers.

Online, a mock AD for Tequila boasts that it will “solve” shyness, social awkwardness and it is a great confidence booster.

The AD just asks it’s consumers one thing; don’t consult a doctor about it.

In 2006 Tom Cruise told the “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer that he was “glib” for not knowing anything about Ritalin and medication (it’s a surprise that Cruise uses a dictionary for other than standing on it.)

Cruise’s media attack on Brooke Sheild’s decision to use prescribed medication for postpartum depression set off a raging debate.

Is America really overmedicated or are we just overreacting?

Drug companies deny that they are exploiting the nation’s fear of deteriorating health, but experts say that drug companies are doing just that.

In 1998 the pain reliever Vicodin had 56 million prescriptions and by 2000, it jumped to 89 million prescriptions.

Named as the “white-collar” addiction, the usage of Vicodin has crossed all socio-economic boundaries and every demographic bracket is capable of acessing it.

More than ever, children who live with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are being treated with Ritalin and Concerta, drugs that strive to help the child’s focus as well as temperamental mood swings.

Yet, critics think that even children are being overmedicated, with statistics showing millions of children taking ritalin yearly.

Some pharmaceuticals are needed for mental illnesses, and serious life altering diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

Even though there seems to be a pill for everything, guess we will just have to wait for one for the common cold.

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