Pharmageddon: how America got hooked on killer prescription drugs

Every day in Florida seven people die having overdosed on prescription drugs – 2,531 died in 2009 alone. That statistic is replicated across the US, where almost 30,000 people died last year from abusing pharmaceutical pills.

It’s an American catastrophe that has been dubbed pharmageddon, though it rarely pierces the public consciousness. Occasionally a celebrity overdose will attract attention – Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson – but they are specks in a growing mountain of human mortality …

Declaring the trend an “alarming public health crisis”, [The White House] pointed out that people were dying unintentionally from painkiller overdoses at rates that exceeded the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and the black tar heroin epidemic of the 1970s combined …

Ric Bradsaw, the sheriff in Palm Beach, said: “There’s a culture that’s taking hold among teenagers that because a doctor prescribes these pills they can’t be bad. Kids don’t have the fear of pharmaceuticals that they do of illegal drugs.”

We’re at Pharmageddon

Drug treatment is the most common form of treatment in primary care. Prescribing is the most common intervention. Pharmageddon is the end of our health by neglect, as we overly rely on pharmaceuticals. 

Lifestyle change might be mentioned by a well meaning prescriber in one sentence, “you should lose weight” or “you should exercise more.” it takes constant effort, diligence and patience, and only you can change your lifestyle. you need to focus on your healthy living. rather than waiting for the next treatment or next miracle drug, promising all you have to do is undergo it or take it.

you can’t underestimate the power of participating in your own health care. get active. stop eating processed foods as much as you can. sing, drum, dance, swim, climb, sit, watch sunsets. sunrises. listen to trees. be in nature. be lighthearted.