Be Aware of the Power of the Drug Industry

By Martha Michael

Notes to Future Self

For several generations, Americans have depended on prescription medications for everything from slight discomfort to post-surgical prevention from infection. The result is a drug industry that’s healthier than the populous it serves.

If you could give some advice to a younger version of yourself, it might have been good to know that pharmaceutical companies are big business. Really big business, according to an article in Barron’s. Big enough to soften the blow of not investing in Microsoft. Competition has driven down the cost of production, so companies have carved out specialties for themselves.

“An unexpected result was that big, inventive, research-oriented pharmaceutical companies began to look like dinosaurs,” the article says. “They reduced their investments in research, closing labs and dismissing staff. Even monopolies couldn’t create enough profit to pay for decades of research and decades of compliance with premarket regulations intended to guarantee efficacy and safety.”

Funding from Wall Street fueled hundreds of speculative companies, and the largest pharma firms are now marketing and advertising giants. Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli is notorious for price-gouging. When he manufactured generic daraprim for AIDS patients, he raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. “If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that should be a crime,” Shkreli said.

Entire generations have grown up believing that good health comes in a pill box. In fact, medicine often masks the pain while the root cause of the infirmary persists.

A National Epidemic

About 1 in 5 Americans will be prescribed opioids at some point in their lives. Consumer guide Genetics Home Reference says that opioid addiction is a chronic disease that results in problems to your health, social and economic situation.

Opioids go to work in the nervous system to provide pain relief and feelings of pleasure. Some of the most common prescription opioids are oxycodone, fentanyl, buprenorphine, methadone, codeine and morphine. There are also illegal drugs such as heroin sold on the street.

Even when legal opioids are prescribed there’s a high risk of addiction. They change your brain’s chemistry and long-term dependence may lead to symptoms of withdrawal, from muscle cramping to anxiety.

In addition to taking a toll on your body’s health, there is a strong risk of drug overdose.

Choose Alternatives to Drug Therapy

Taking a step away from addiction to medications such as prescription drugs can be extremely difficult. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, so for many the best antidote is a customized treatment, although chiropractic is at the front of credible alternatives.

In the United States, an older man or woman has the opportunity to look back on a lifetime of chiropractic care. Benefits that begin in childhood include treatment that may positively affect such common challenges as ear infections and allergy attacks. In the case of nocturnal enuresis, or bed-wetting, chiropractic adjustments can stimulate specific nerve function, which affect bladder function.

And for the sake of prevention, routine visits to a chiropractor provide a way to maintain the spinal health you’re born with, which reduces the chance of developing problems later.

Alternative therapies can play a major role for an individual battling pain, discomfort or other medical needs. They can also offer complementary treatment to health practices you already have in place.

Experts at American Addiction Centers affirm the idea that introduces useful treatments for individuals attempting to reduce the desire to gain the immediate relief you can get from drugs or alcohol.

Yoga and mindful meditation are popular practices used to counteract painful thoughts, emotions, and experiences. They offer individuals an alternative to the automatic pilot course of mindlessness achieved through substance use. The purpose of yoga and meditation is to inspire a place of awareness, full engagement “in the present moment” known as mindfulness.

Mindfulness training is meant to increase your understanding of how your addiction plays itself out in your life. Patients are encouraged to make conscious decisions rather than reacting to stressors. Yoga is an active form of meditation offering the same benefits, including a spiritual connection.

If the younger version of yourself lacked the foresight to see that reliance on medication fattened the drug companies and reduced your experience with natural forms of wellness, there’s good news. Focusing on the present enables you to trim the fat now through healthy practices such as chiropractic care and optimize the prospects for the future you. Basically, you have a chance to beat the drug epidemic by reducing chances of ill-health or injury in the first place.

Future Self, Part 1: Future Self to Current Self: Make Healthy Choices

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