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By Jason Caci


Doctors have been too quick to prescribe medications to their patients whenever they deal with arthritis, migraines, or any sort of general pain. Florida State University researcher Jeffrey Lacasse conducted a study and found that out of 235 bereaved parents, “37.4 percent of those participating in the study were prescribed a psychiatric medication to help them cope, with some receiving prescriptions within a week of losing their children.” Lacasse pointed out that prescribing this medication only a week after the death of a loved one is way too soon. Mary A. Fischer of AARP Magazine reported, “From 1999 through 2007, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers – such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and the fentanyl patch – more than tripled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”  We should have seen this one coming because nationwide drug dependence does not happen in one day, but rather gradually over an extended period of time.

Prior to going to doctors, perhaps people should first consider natural remedies and do independent research. The Internet has so much information! Why would one waste the opportunity to receive valuable information on the Internet, which is entirely free? Think twice before relying so much on doctors because they have their own personal agenda to fulfill, as they get a nice, fat referral check from drug companies. There is not always a reason to go to the doctor just so he can ask, “How is your family? How is school going?” like he cares at all about your life. The doctor only asks these questions so he can attempt to snatch more clients. I want to get my diagnosis so I know what to do with my own flesh and bones! Doctors tend to over prescribe certain pills. For example, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that “the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.” If there are more pills that are available for consumption, then people can take advantage of this opportunity and consume those pills. If they were illegal, they would not have to leave their comfort zone to get them. To top it all off, doctors are ready, prescription pad and pen in hand, to prescribe pills to patients. reported that, “While more than 70 percent and 55 percent of doctors say they prescribe narcotic painkillers for back pain and dental pain, respectively, these drugs are not considered the ideal treatment for either condition, according to the safety council.” This is a problem that has been caused by a lack of preparation on the part of doctors. The United States has seen a huge shortage of doctors, particularly because Americans do not think that the investment in medical school will pay off in the long run. A trend has occurred where medical school graduates choose to work for biotech firms rather than clinics because the ceiling for money to be made is much higher in business than in medicine. Therefore, the U.S. should let more immigrant doctors into the country, particularly those from India and China because they have a work ethic that goes unmatched. Their work ethics arose from the high standards set by their families and cultures back home. With this being said, another option would be to help Americans find an incentive to work as physicians, but it looks like an unfeasible one in the short term.

The issue with painkillers goes along the same path as antidepressants. In an era where social media has been on a rapid rise, people may start to become depressed whenever they disagree with comments others make. I am no genius, but I do not think that is how a person wants to end his or her day after a stressful time at work. The phrase “social media” is one of the great ironies in the English language. One might as well call it “antisocial media” for the plunge in face-to-face human interaction it has caused. I cannot wave the magic wand and cure depression, but I believe that lifestyle changes and therapy have fewer side effects and are more effective than pills, which only help manage depression and are not a miracle cure.

Human interaction is the key factor to having positivity in one’s life because you can share your feelings with other people with a good chance that some of them will relate to what you are feeling. People need to be forced to speak to each other face-to-face rather than through the internet because at the moment, they are more comfortable talking to their friends without looking at them. The issue of depression will only increase because more people are glued to their screens.

Painkillers should be taken less than the amount that doctors prescribe because doctors overprescribe painkillers to their patients far too often. At the same time, people should look to them as a last resort, especially considering their highly addictive nature.




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