I’ve spoken a lot on the topic of the dangers of prescription drugs.  Whether you are discussing the toxicity of certain drugs or how they deplete vital nutrients necessary for a day to day life, there are just more cons than pros in most cases.  The pharmaceutical industry is a corporate giant only out powered by the food system.  With billions of dollars in revenue and marketing each year, they have a huge grasp of control of public opinion and our freedoms.  If you want to really know why our healthcare system sucks, look at the companies with all the cash-flow.  When companies can afford to run advertisements for erectile dysfunction medications during the super bowl, they are not hurting financially.

Our health care system collects billions of dollars each year.  I believe I heard somewhere that the amount of money wasted in one week on US health care trumps the entire war in Iraq.  So who are the real terrorist? Maybe that’s a bold statement to some but consider this.  The 911 attacks resulted in just under 3000 Americans losing their lives.  In 2009 nearly 40 THOUSAND people died from prescription drug overdose or mixed use.  If you think that is bad, the new numbers for 2011 show that prescription drugs overdose or mis-use is now the number one cause of “accidental” death.  So more people are killed by drug accidents that car accidents each year.  It is now technically safer to be driving a car than taking prescription drugs.

Pretty scary stuff right?  Well thats just the start.  Those numbers only reflect the people that die each year from mis-using their medications.  If you were to add in the deaths that are labeled natural causes that were exasperated by the negative effects of prescription drugs use, this number would likely increase by a few digits.  The truth is there are only a small number of prescription drugs that are necessary.

Take a look at the top killers in the US

  • Heart disease: 616,067
  • Cancer: 562,875
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
  • Diabetes: 71,382
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
  • Septicemia: 34,828

This highlighted as bold are what most functional medicine doctors would call preventable diseases.  You haven’t heard about the diabetes epidemic in African gazelles or the sudden increase in heart attacks in Lions.  The fact is that our leading cause of death are the result of our modern lifestyle and the foods and products we use.

In 1909 Five leading causes of death were:

  1. Pneumonia and influenza
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke

If you look at number 4-5, heart disease and stroke and then look to see that 5 of the top 10 drugs sold in the US in 2010 you will see that despite all those drugs  these diseases that have managed to climb to the top of the charts.  3 of the top 10 drugs sold are for diabetes which wasn’t even on the list 100 years ago.  The moral of the story is that for chronic disease and dysfunction, prescription drugs are not the solution.  We have a system that treats symptoms of disease rather than curing disease.  It’s not because we need more money and research into drugs to prevent or cure these diseases.  People need to understand that there is no pill that will make you bullet proof.  The best solution is to avoid getting shot.  In other words, we have to change the way we eat, work, and play.  We have to stop putting poison in our food and on our bodies, and in the earth.  A great start is to read Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World – By Mark Schauss

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