Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Somebody's on drugs ... and it's not me.

Up to 25 percent of people in whom psychiatrists would currently diagnose depression may only be reacting normally to stressful events such as a divorce or losing a job, according to a new analysis that reexamined how the standard diagnostic criteria are used. As a result, anti-depression medication is being handed out like candy.

I totally believe this.

Doctors have such a hard on for prescribing all sorts of drugs these days it’s not funny. Next time you go to the doctor, and you are in the waiting room, play a little game. Look for the guy or girl wearing a suit and toting a small rolling suitcase. This is the drug rep. In this little rolling case are samples packs and free gifts (Pens, clipboards, magnets). They are the modern day drug pushers.

The average senior citizen is on 6-8 separate prescription drugs. Thank god Duane Reade finally came up with a computer system to red flag dangerous and sometimes deadly drug interactions.

I have had some minor, undiagnosed, respiratory problems for a couple years now. I have been offered almost every drug under the sun. Pain killers (Percocet), anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acid blockers (Nexium), and even anti-depression medication (Zoloft) and (Valium). None of these prescriptions were ever based on any kind of a diagnosis.

“Just try it and see if it works”, the doctors will say.

“Fuck that. Do your fucking job”, I say

-Painkillers can lead to addiction problems.

-Acid blockers when used for a long time can cause bone damage.

-Statin drugs (Lipitor, Mevacor, Zocor, Lescol, Crestor, Advicor), which are used to lower cholesterol, have a side effect no one likes to talk about. They can cause permanent damage to the liver, muscles and nervous system.

-Anti-inflammatory drug can cause all sorts of side effects, and they are often treating the symptom and not the cause. The body inflames around an injury to protect and inhibit movement. That is why your leg swells up when you break it. Solve the injury, and the inflammation goes away.

-Anti-depression medication is serious stuff and can very often become habit forming and not very easy to stop. Some drugs like Wellbutrin need to be slowly tapered off to avoid serious crashes.

Most doctors suck balls these days.

There … I said it.

They are so immobilized by the HMOs and the insurance companies that they are too scared to do their fucking job anymore.

On top of that, the majority of doctors are whores to the drug companies who offer prescription kickbacks and free trips to medical conferences in places like French Polynesia and Hawaii. The medical presentation lasts a few hours, but the trip (with their family) often lasts a week or more.

Recently I have been offered my pick of anti-depressant medication, and I laughed in their face. My response was. “If I am depressed, it is because I have had these mysterious respiratory problems for over two years now, and you pompous, overpaid egomaniacs are unable or unwilling to find the cause.” Upon hearing that, he offered me a prescription for Valium.

Before I stormed out of the office, I said, “You can give me the Valium and I will sell it to my friends who take Valium recreationally. Then I will put the proceeds towards paying my useless insurance and doctor’s bills. How’s that?”

Life can be tough sometimes. Nobody said it was going to be a cakewalk. We all need to stop taking pills to solve every damn problem. If you want to stop smoking … just fucking do it. If you want to lose weight … join a gym. If you want to lower you cholesterol levels, try to do it with diet and exercise first.

Don't do drugs kids ... and stay in school.

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Blogger juan headlight said...

oh pete, please don't take away my drugs!!!!

4:27 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

some people actually need drugs, peter, so you're putting up a very biased opinion. while i agree that drugs are far overprescribed, i think there are a lot of people to blame.

first of all, doctors are not gods and they do not know everything. sometimes they can't figure out what is wrong with you. we, as non-doctors, get mad... so then they offer us valium, or something, because they don't know what the hell else to do. it's not like they're doling out heroin.

second, there are a lot of people who really need medication, either anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. then, there are people whom, a hundred years ago, wouldn't have had anything and would have gotten through a rough situation and it would have been horrible for them. but they'd have gotten through it... is it wrong for modern medicine to change that? because if you're going to make that argument we can talk about all the things we now have, that we didn't have, 100 years ago, that make our lives easier. shoving meds into this category is pretty much like shoving toilet paper into it. we had neither 100 years ago, and nobody was the better for it.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

Some people DO need the help of medication, and I firmly believe those people should have access to those drugs. Strangely enough, when people do urgently need drugs (AIDS, Cancer, etc.), they can be prohibitively and unnecessarily expensive. As a result, people are often forced to go without them.

This does not change the unmistakable fact that many "quality of life" drugs are horribly over prescribed by physicians.

If, or when the financial incentive is taken away from them, we might see a reduction in these prescriptive diagnoses. Until then you are going to see more little kids on Ritalin and more seniors dropping dead from their medications.

In addition, Valium is a very serious and powerful drug. Although housewives in the 80s have softened its image, it can be very powerful and should not be offered to dope people up. To give it to a frustrated patient turns it into nothing more than a weak diversion from the doctor's inability to find a true answer.

I really think that comparing the invention of toilet paper and the epidemic of prescription drug use in this country is an erroneous analogy.

P.S. In many parts of the world, people still use their left hand.

9:40 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

i didn't exactly use them as an analogy, as i did as one of MANY examples of things in our "era" that are better than they were 100 years ago. for example: the availability of painkillers like aspirin, so we don't suffer from headaches or cramps. cars, which take us places. indoor plumbing. fluoride. tampax. refrigerators. penicillin.

as for valium, it's prescribed a lot for any number of reasons. it's a muscle relaxant, actually, so can be used for injuries, etc. it's actually very hard to kill yourself with it, which means it's a relatively safe drug to give an anxious and depressed person because ODing would take like 400 pills.

i agree with all the arguments about $$ and the pharma industry. but, again, today's science and technology, cheap or expensive, makes our lives easier and often healthier.

it's all about $$, always. people using their hands for toilet paper, that's about $$ as well.i'd rather have my society filled with drugs and TP and tampons and penicillin, then with none of it. the good is outweighing the bad, when we think about advancements in health and technology.

11:49 PM  
Blogger KleoPatra said...


12:22 AM  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

I hosted a half million-dollar WEBMD commercial out of my production company.

On the wrap day, the Production Manager failed to show up for work. That is completely unheard of in this business. We all thought he was dead or in serious trouble.

In fact, he had taken just two Valium the night before. As a result of this, he slept (passed out) for close to 22 hours.

Alyssa ... I wouldn't go testing your 400 pill OD theory any time soon.

1:35 AM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

correct, peter. he SLEPT. i never said you wouldn't SLEEP, i said it wouldn't kill you.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

Listed among the many side effects of Valium over dosage are Coma, and Death.

Next time they make the offer, I will get the Valium prescription, and give it to you.

I'll see if my doctor will throw in some Claritin® while he is at it.

6:48 PM  
Blogger grumpygirl said...

don't be such a smart ass. coma is listed as a side effect of all meds,, likely even claritin.

i happen to have a lot of pharmacological and medical knowledge; there wasn't a lot to do in my house growing up other than read my mom's vogue magazines, or my dad's medical journals and textbooks. i chose the latter.

11:47 PM  

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