Prescription Medication: Cure or Curse?

A pulled muscle, migraine headache, fibromyalgia, a sinus infection, depression, ADD/ADHD, PMS-all cause discomfort, annoyance or pain on some level, but with a quick trip to the doctor, they can all be alleviated with the slash of a pen across a prescription pad and a pit stop at the pharmacy.

A quick and easy fix? Perhaps. But at what cost to our bodies and even our minds? A study conducted by Dr. Shelly Nuara, MBBS found that each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization.

According to the FDA, prescription drugs kill 300 percent more people than illegal drugs. This is partly from patients being misdiagnosed or overmedicated and increasingly from prescription drug abuse. Prescription medications are being obtained illegally and sold on the street. According to Men’s Health Magazine, the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs is 300 times higher than deaths caused by illegal drugs.

Moreover, medical journals have consistently warned doctors to cut down on prescriptions for antibiotics, yet statistics show that these prescriptions are still on the rise. According to Nuara, excessive antibiotic use has bred superbugs that the strongest antibiotics cannot kill. Despite warning that antibiotics should be prescribed only in the most severe cases, doctors are still prescribing them, even as preventative medication when a diagnosis in unclear.

One of the most alarming trends is the rise of medications prescribed for ADD/ADHD. These medications haven’t been around long enough for medical professionals to know the long term effects, especially on the liver since the liver is responsible for metabolizing the drugs. Some of the side effects of medications such as Vyvance and Ritalin, the most commonly prescribed ADHD medications for children are weight loss, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and anxiety, stunted growth and psychiatric symptoms.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD increased from 4.4 million to more than 5 million between the years of 2002 and 2010 alone. This study does not take into account the increasing number of adults who are being prescribed ADD/ADHD medications.

So what are the alternatives? More and more research points to proof that many illnesses can be cured and injuries alleviated by more natural approaches. Proponents of natural treatments for ADD in children believe that a simple change in diet can vastly improve ADD/ADHD symptoms.

Carrie Demers, MD, who specialized in holistic treatment for children with ADD/ADHD agrees. “In my own practice, parents who have reduced their child’s intake of sugar, refined foods, and foods with chemical additives report significant improvement in their child’s behavior over 4 to 8 weeks. Additionally, studies show that taking Omega-3 Fish Oil supplements alleviate symptoms of ADD, ADHD, depression and anxiety.

For pain management, illness, disease, depression, and anxiety many folks have found relief through Eastern Medicine and philosophy such as acupuncture and Bikram Hot Yoga. Upping one’s intake of certain vitamins and minerals can be a simple cure to disease like high cholesterol, and a simple saline nasal rinse can cure a sinus infection.

These natural, drug-free remedies may help you prevent chronic disease and tackle illness-without side effects and without unknown long term damage.

To learn more about specific drugs and their potential side effects visit the following page: Prescription Drug Side Effects

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