Sunday, February 12, 2012

The War on Drugs, The War on Us

Yesterday, Whitney Houston was found dead in her bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel. On Thursday it was reported that she was behaving erratically, wearing mismatched clothes, doing handstands by the pool. I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by the toxicology report.

Last week, Aaron and Nick Carter’s 25-year old sister died by an overdose of prescription drugs. Heath Ledger. Amy Winehouse. Michael Jackson. The list goes on and on…Most of us probably know someone who has died by “misuse” of prescription drugs.

Let’s think about that word.


Prescribed. By a doctor. The same doctors who are supposed to heal us are throwing drugs at our problems. You have pain? Oxycontin. Can’t sleep? Ambien. Can’t focus? Adderal. Depressed? Unhappy marriage? Issues with your mother? Unresolved childhood trauma? War memories? We’ve got a cornucopia of happy pills for those…


I’m not against medicine. I’m against the way it’s being pushed on us by the pharma industry. I’m against my six year old growing up watching commercials for drugs every five minutes. I’m against the ease by which they are prescribed. I’m against the fact that Raegan started the JUST SAY NO campaign against illegal drugs, which gave the pharmaceutical industry a monopoly, eventually transforming us into a legal DRUG NATION.

38,000 reported deaths per year. Reported.

So yes, let’s mourn Whitney’s tragic death. Let’s have our moments of silence and prayers. And then let’s face reality, and ask ourselves what we can do to stop this epidemic.  It’s not going to stop until we, as a nation, change. We have to stop buying into it. Stop letting doctors push addictive drugs onto us. DO YOUR RESEARCH on drugs you are prescribed. If they are dangerously addictive, I have some advice for you.

Just say no.


  1. So well said, Hollye. As a pharmacist, I could not agree more. Let's remember, however, that many patients relentlessly pressure physicians for SPECIFIC meds.... perhaps because they have viewed a commercial on TV, but more likely because their neighbor, their hair stylist, or their elderly Aunt Annie takes them and highly recommends them. Most physicians see a large number of patients each day, and feel the pressure to get them in and out quickly, making it a little too easy to just say yes to a request. There is plenty of blame to go around where abuse of prescription drugs is concerned. If drug seekers would actually research the indications, adverse effects, and possible long term effects of many medications, they would Just Say No. Great blog, Hollye.

  2. Thank you Karen. I'm glad to hear from a pharmacist's perspective ( and did not know you were a pharmacist, by the way!) I agree that we are all to blame. My concern is the GREED in the pharma industry that, like on Wall Street, has run rampant and now is killing people. The constant programming, the reps pushing it on the doctors, rewarding them for prescribing it. What was supposed to heal people has become a sick greed-fest.

  3. This is a huge problem on so many levels. I was diagnosed last year with an auto-immune disorder (UCTD) and fibromyalgia. One of the first things the doctor did was prescribe medicines. Notice the plural there. Drugs for pain, for the fibro, and for the UCTD. I refused some of the medicines but gave into others--and I had a horrible reaction to one of the drugs. Horrible. I refused any other meds for fear of repeating that experience. Every drug she's wanted to put me on I've researched and researched, and I've declined some of them because, from my research, the risks outweigh the benefits.

    My huge frustration with doctors and medicine is that there seems to be less of a naturalistic approach (let's see what lifestyle changes can be done to improve quality of life or disease) and more of a drug-happy approach. Like you say: "You have pain? Oxycontin. Can’t sleep? Ambien. Can’t focus? Adderal. Depressed? Unhappy marriage? Issues with your mother? Unresolved childhood trauma? War memories? We’ve got a cornucopia of happy pills for those…" Forget at treating the CAUSE of something; let's look at bandaids to cover up the symptoms. And in doing so, we're creating a nation that is overly reliant on drugs and in which (prescription) drug interactions and addictions happen.

    There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

    1. I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but kudos to you for doing your research, and staying empowered in the treatment of the disease. It is your life, after all. I applaud you for taking the reins.

  4. Money, money, money! Everything is about money. It's the business of America.

  5. Exactly, Donald. And even with the collapse of Wall Street and our economy, we are still slow to wake up to this.
    *shaking head*

  6. What shocks me is how little doctors are trained to know about nutrition and alternative remedies. Many of my most successful treatments have come from alternative practitioners. Two of them seem to know more about the human body than my GP!


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