Magic Bullets

Because of my current career and my previous work in marketing research, I take notice of the continual proliferation, via the media, of drug advertisements. Will a company ever develop a pill to counteract the hype associated with some of these medications while simultaneously alerting us to the reality that we, as a society, are overmedicated?

The attraction of many prescription drugs is their promise of providing a magic bullet—the pill that will cure everything. Doesn’t this remind you of the snake oil peddlers of the past hawking their magic elixirs? It’s not much of leap from these peddlers of old to the slick television and print ads of today beckoning us to get a prescription from our doctor for illnesses/conditions we never knew existed.  I’m sorry if I’m the one to break the news, but just as a magic elixir didn’t exist, neither does a magic bullet.

For me, just hearing the various potential side effects of current prescription drugs, such as suicidal thoughts, hostility, depression, abnormal dreams (what are they exactly?), and even death, would make me think twice the next time my doctor wanted to write me a new script or two.

In an earlier post, I mentioned a marketing research project I worked on for a pharmaceutical company. They wanted participants who were at risk for type II diabetes and who were controlling their symptoms with diet and exercise. Guess what? We couldn’t find anyone. Everyone was already on medication.

How did we become a society focused on illness rather than health? Why do we give control of our health to little blue, white, green, or whatever color pills? Please realize, I recognize there are times when a prescription medication is necessary and appropriate, but there are times when we need to take control of our health and wellness. Related to this, please see my post of May 21, Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?

From my perspective, talk to your doctor about the feasibility of making healthy lifestyle changes first (as my client wanted with the type II diabetes study) before popping a pill(s) and falling prey to their potential scary side effects.

At this moment, let’s start a new movement—thinking in terms of health instead of disease. Will you join me?

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