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Don Yarber Don Yarber
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The War on Drugs: why we can't win.

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The second in my essays on politics and things I feel strongly about

Have you watched television lately? If you have, you probably noticed the barrage of commercials for the pharmaceutical companies.  “Ask your Doctor about Whatever.”
       I think this is sending a wrong message to our youth.  (And to impressionable adults as well.)

       The message is, “It’s OK to take drugs, as long as your Doctor prescribes them.”
       What the pharmaceutical companies and our lawmakers aren’t telling us is this:
       More people are addicted to “legal” drugs than to “illegal” ones.
       And more are getting addicted every day.
       The medical profession has become a “pill pushing” industry.  If you go to a Doctor while in perfect health, I will guarantee that he will find something wrong with you and will prescribe a pill.  Even though you don’t need it.

       Heaven forbid that there is ACTUALLY a medical reason to go to a Doctor.  Example, if you have a stomach ache you’ll get a prescription.  If that prescription causes a headache, you’ll get another prescription for the headache.  And if that one causes diarrhea, you’ll get another prescription for that.

       The medical profession should stop using patients as guinea pigs.  Prescribing pills is not always the best solution to public health problems.
       Children are often the targets of “pill pushers” and those who believe that drugs are the answer to everything.

       Proper diet can be a better way to control a “hyper” child.  With all the sugary foods children eat and all the caffeine contaminated soft drinks they are allowed, it’s not a wonder that children are “hyper” and have problems paying attention.  

       I cite a recent report by noted columnist John Rappaport against treating the so called ADHD disorder in children.
       One woman wrote to Rappaport that Ritalin was prescribed and given to her son.  After a few weeks he showed signs of depression.  Normally an active child, he refused to go outside to play, lost interest in video games and became lethargic and depressed.  A trip to the same psychologist that prescribed the Ritalin resulted in giving the child a drug to stop the depression.  This drug produced nightmares and odd behavior.  A trip back to the shrink resulted in giving the child a different drug to counteract the nightmares.

       After the medical merry-go-round resulted in a depressed, lethargic child with chronic nightmares, the parents decided to take the boy to a general practitioner.  This doctor was furious about the drugs the child had been taking but offered no further advice stating that it was out of his realm of expertise.  The parents, however, decided to take the child off all medication, limit the amount of sugar intake and watch for a change.  The child’s mother started packing a lunch for the boy to take to school.  It included good solid foods, fruit drinks instead of sodas.
       After a few weeks the boy returned to normal.  They hired a tutor to help bring the boys grades back up.  The father took a more active roll in developing the boy’s latent talents in math.

       So the next time you hear a voice on your television say, “Ask your Doctor about Whatalin,” think about it.  

       Our lawmakers have voted to spend millions of dollars to keep our children off of drugs and the pharmaceutical companies have spent millions of dollars getting our children on drugs.  And millions more getting unsuspecting adults on drugs.
       Lets start writing our congressmen and senators demanding that television stations be more responsible about advertising drugs.  If that doesn’t work, write to your local television station and tell them you will not watch their programming as long as they sell advertisement to pharmaceutical companies.  

       It’s high time America learned that the answer to all of life’s problems cannot and should not be found in a drug.

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