JJ and I must be on the same wavelength today, cause we both ended up blogging about drugs, he about the legalization of Marijuana and me about prescription drugs. My discussion about “street drugs” is another topic for another day. Probably will be part of my “Top ten dumbest things I ever did in my life” blog, still a work in progress, cause there’s just an abundance of riches there :o)
But today, I want to focus on prescription drugs and in particular, the hypocrisy of governments’ war on “illegal” drugs while on the other hand, they bend over and subsidize all the pharmaceutical companies that dispense such necessary life saving pillls as restless leg syndrome medication. I am not anti-science or anti-medical establishment. I just think that nowadays it is too easy to get a prescription for a pill for whatever ailment you suffer from, a Band-Aid solution at best that may temporarily mask the symptoms but not eliminate the root of the problem.
I have a close relative who leads a very unhealthy lifestyle. He has a very imbalanced diet, no protein, no veggies. He stays up til all hours of the night. He does not have any physical activity. He gorges on coffee and sugar. And, as a result, he suffers from migraines and a host of other problems. You would think his doctor would discuss his lifestyle with him? Nooooo. In what I am sorry to say is typical Iranian doctor fashion, he just gives him prescriptions over the phone whenever he wants, without even having him into his office. As a result, I believe he has become, like many people nowadays, an addict to prescription drugs. Some, not all, doctors are acting as no more than drug pushers. And people think it must be okay if it is prescribed by a doctor, as opposed to the bad, bad stuff those shady characters are selling at the corner of Stench of Urine Street and Discarded Needles Boulevard.
Also, do you notice when you hear of actors or singers passing away from drug overdose nowadays, it is seldom the good old cocktails of cocaine and crack. Aaaaahhhh those nostalgic days of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Mama Cass, or Jim Belushi are long gone. Now, people like Heath Ledger, Corey Haim and Brittany Murphy are discovered with a veritable all you can eat buffet of prescription medication.
I remember after my emergency C-section, I was given prescription for some really powerful anti-pain medication, which I tossed in the trash as soon as I got home. I could not help but notice the prescription would have lasted me a good 9 months. Having decided to forego the pills, I was in pain for about 2 weeks after coming home but I found an amazingly novel, exotic, and ground breaking method of numbing that pain: Enduring it!!!
Obviously, not every ailment is going to be fixed by simply gritting your teeth and bearing it. There are serious, degenerative illnesses out there and we shoudl applaud the efforts of those in the medical and pharmaceutical fields who are doing their part in eradicating it.
What I am afraid of our society turning into however, if it has not turned into it aleady, is Aldous Huxley’s prophetic vision in his novel Brave New World, which, among other things, describes a society where it is mandatory to take pills in order to remain a perfect human specimen. High school was not that many moons ago for me, and I remember reading that and thinking what the hell is he talking about? But now I get it. My cousin came to visit me for a few days in Los Angeles. We tried to show her the sights as best we could. Do you think she left with memories of Malibu or Universal Studios? No, the one thing that was etched in her mind was a visit to a highbrow boutique, I think in Melrose or some other “chic” part of town, where they were selling fancy pill boxes. There were dozens and dozens of them, she explained to me, wide-eyed, like it is a status symbol to be walking around carrying your Vicodin or your Percocet, and you might as well flaunt it. Today, I watched a product being advertised on TV, a sort of prescription drugs lockbox. The doctor that was advertising it was giving them away free to an overly excited audience, saying this would be a good way to prevent your kids from abusing your prescription drugs. Brave New World indeed…
By the way, I totally agree with JJ that we should not outlaw drugs, be they the “illegal” street drugs or the ones being pushed by pharmaceuticals. Just for the same reason that we should not outlaw alcohol, cigarettes, and fast foods and other things that are “bad” for you. Or else we might as well all wear adult diapers and ask our baby-sitter government to hold our hand and put us down for a nap. We have free will. We are allowed to make a choice. Just, once in a while, why don’t you take a look at your “medicine” cabinet and think before you reach for that pacifier…oops…I meant pill!
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