Do any of these statements seem familiar to you? Perhaps these are how you felt or you heard them from a friend of family member:
“I’ve had back pain forever. All I do is take Tylenol during the day to take the edge off.”
— Someone taking 6-8 pills per day.
“Every time I stop taking my medicine I get a worse headache than the one I had before.”
— A woman who has been taking three Excedrin per day for as long as she can remember.
“I live off my arthritis medicine. When they pulled it off the market I thought I would die.”
— A man with osteoarthritis of his neck and knees.
Americans take more than 50% of all the drugs manufactured in the world each year. This is an amazing thought considering that millions of people are harmed or die each year as a result of taking FDA approved medications properly. Take these statistics into consideration:
- 32 million Americans take three or more medicines daily.
Adverse reactions to medicine are estimated to be the 4th-6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- It is estimated that over 100,000 people die each year from taking medicines as directed or prescribed.
- 2.2 million people this year will have adverse reactions to medicines including allergic reactions, heart and blood pressure problems, and bleeding.
Stress and Painkiller Abuse
In addition to this, when people are in distress, and particularly, in pain, they tend to over-use or mis-use medicines. Pain medications have been all over the media because of the risks of dependence and addiction. Patients who are on these medicines frequently find that they are unable to do some of the basic functions in their life including driving a vehicle, working and taking care of their children. It is now found that painkillers are the 2nd most common abused drug among Americans.
Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse
So what can we do? The only option we have to protect our bodies and our health is to make better choices. One of the main reasons I chose to become a chiropractor was that it is a Drugless Treatment. Because of the nature of medicines (which is mostly to cover symptoms), and the way I saw patients caught in the “Catch 22” of being sick or in pain and trying to get better, I thought there had to be a better way.
In my experience in practice, the majority of patients who come to see me are taking medicines. Most commonly it is over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, steroids, pain pills, or arthritis medicines. A lot of the time the only thing they have tried to do is to take pills and hope that they make the pain go away.
I tell my patients “The pain is not the problem; it is a sign of the real underlying problem that needs to be fixed.” I have found, and current research shows, that people who use chiropractic care to fix their body’s problems take significantly less medications than people who don’t. This means less exposure to side effects, adverse reactions, and a better ability to live life to the fullest without pain and disability.
If you have been treating your symptoms with medicines, I encourage you to start making a better choice today. Have an evaluation with a chiropractor and just “SAY NO” to drugs.