A recent CNN Health News article asks the question – Are you taking too many medications? The article tells the story of Alesandra Rain, whose sleeping problem turned into a downward spiral of medications and side effects. At her worst, Alesandra Rain was spending more than $900 a month on prescriptions, seeing 6 specialists, taking 12 different types of medication amounting to about a thousand pills a month, none able to cure her chronic insomnia and depression. She was slowly losing herself. When you’re on that many different prescriptions it’s hard to recognize where the pills end and you begin.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. This story happens way too often in America today. In fact, the average American fills 12 prescriptions a year. ”I don’t think people really understand the nature of medication; the drugs will, by definition, have some toxic, collateral side effects,” says Dr. Douglas Bremner, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University. Add to that the fact that most people fail to realize that side effects from a single medication can be made worse by taking two (or twelve!) together.
A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, further solidifies this point. An analysis of more than 5,600 drug labels and more than 500,000 side effects found that prescription drug labels include an average of 70 different potential adverse reactions — a number that jumps to 100 side effects for some commonly prescribed drugs.
Obviously, in some cases medication is absolutely necessary. But the shear number and frequency in which prescription drugs are handed out today needs to be addressed. It’s good to see a major media outlet reporting on this type of story. It is a long overdue story, and hopefully exposing the politics of pills will help people in similar situations as Alesandra in the future.
As a Chiropractor, there’s freedom in knowing that if you have a proper functioning nerve system, you don’t have to take prescription after prescription to keep your body functioning. If you know someone stuck in a downward drug spiral, tell them about the freedom they can achieve with natural Chiropractic care.