America is highly dependent on medication. We take meds for just about everything, from a common headache to more severe issues that require a prescription. In 2015, doctors provided more than 3.7 billion drugs to their patients.
Despite our over reliance on medication, many people are not aware of the possible dangers that prescriptions can pose. Nearly 1.3 million people had to be rushed to the ER for drug related complications in 2014. While many people need some medication in order to function, the amount of medication we as a country are consuming is just not necessary.
The next time you consider turning to your doctor for a medication to treat your symptoms, consider the downsides that often come from prescriptions.
Prescription medication is third among most commonly abused drugs, right after alcohol and marijuana. Many people will rely on prescriptions, even when not recommended by a doctor, to get high, relax, or relieve pain.
Even when medications are initially used as prescribed, there are several prescriptions that can become addictive. This can lead to you continuing to use them, even after you don’t need them anymore. In addition, the longer you continue to use some medications, the less effective they become. This leads to you needing more of the drug in order to get the same results.
The most commonly addictive prescriptions include opiods, stimulants, steroids, and anti-worries medications.
There are so many drugs available on the market today that there’s no way to know how all of them will interact with each other. The more you tend to rely on medication, the more likely you will be at risk of your medication interacting badly.
Examples of drug interactions include:
excessive bleeding when taking too many blood thinners
medications canceling each other out
alcohol mixed with medications can slow your breathing
Some drug interactions are lethal, and can kill you. Relying too much on prescription medication increases the chance of experiencing awful side effects, and potentially death.
Masks Underlying Issues
Most of the time, medications are used to treat the symptoms, and not the root cause of the problem. While at first this can seem like an easy way to address your problems, it doesn’t actually make the problem go away.
Think about it this way. You have a boat that is leaking. You might be able to plug up the holes with something, but water will still get in. If you don’t take the boat out and fix the holes, your boat will sink and you will be left without a boat. If you want to keep and rescue the boat, you’ll need to take the boat out of the water and make repairs.
Taking prescription medication is like plugging the leaks in the boat, but still insisting on keeping your boat in water. It’s not going to stop water from getting in, it’ll just make it slower.
Doesn’t Address Emotional Stress
Relying on prescription medication to deal with pain often doesn’t address the emotional stress that can be behind the pain. In fact, many people turn to prescription medication in order to alleviate or ignore the pain. However, this won’t make the emotional stress go away, and will often cause the stress to build up until it explodes.
One study showed that with time 75% of alcoholics outgrow their addiction. However, only 25% of them went to receive treatment. Those who were able to put behind their addiction did so after addressing the emotional stress that led them to drink in the first place.
Whether a doctor has prescribed you some medication, or you are abusing prescriptions, there are many dangers associated with relying on medications. Be aware of them the next time you think about taking some pills.