Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Over Dosed?

Question: Do drug companies inundate the airwaves with pill-pushing ads to feed a cultural propensity to treat every ailment with a pill? Or, do they push so hard in order to overcome our innate tendency to view the use of drugs as a weakness? When I consider the people I know - friends, family, acquaintances - the vast, vast majority fall into the latter category. They resist being medicated, even when medications would alleviate pain or, in the case of cholesterol lowering drugs, quite possibly lengthen their life span. They resist the very idea of pill reliance and the resistance is not based on factors such as the ability to pay for the drugs. It's a deep resistance to, and fear of drug dependence, that applies to everything from sinus sprays and lip balm to post-surgical pain relief. No where is the resistance more evident than when it involves mood altering medications. As painful as depression can be, both physically and psychologically, my experience with family and friends is that there is a visceral opposition to drug therapy on the part of the patient in almost every case. The same applies to patients in hospice care. I'm certain any medical professional in the field would agree that overcoming the patient's fear of drug dependence on pain relieving medications is a big obstacle, even at the end-stage of life. So, where do we get the premise that we are all rampantly "pill-popping" our way through life? Is it really true, or do we exaggerate our response to drug use of any kind?


Blogger Fran / Blue Gal said...

Just because I don't wanna take three pills a day for the rest of my life doesn't mean I haven't taken stuff to help me from time to time. I really think all of us need to step back from this debate and ask what LIFE is. Talked to a man at church this past weekend whose wife had six heart attacks last year...she takes 24 pills per day now. I did not have the heart (?) to ask him if his wife is still smoking!

She's on medicare. Should I be paying for her 24 pills a day if she insisted for years that she wasn't killing herself?

My DH is on that cholesterol drug and for breakfast this morning he had bacon cheeseball on dog bread toast. I am not making that up. He's on medicare. You're paying for his pills. When his own daughter asked him if he was watching his cholesterol he said, "Nope, don't have to. Lipitor. Better living through chemistry."

So what I wanna know is, What the hell are we doing? Or, is there a pill that will take away my wrinkles AND my hips and my anxiety about our government and worry about the toys scattered around my house? And how can I get everybody else to pay for that pill?

12/14/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honey, I am the poster child for better living through chemistry.


12/14/2005 02:55:00 PM  

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