International Writers Magazine: OD Living
War on Americas drugs
recent years, the United States has been known for its war on
terrorism. Before the war on terrorism, the U.S. had been and
continues to, fight a different kind of war. This war could easily
be described as a war against its citizens. The
majority of those who are incarcerated in this country have been
so because of their association to drugs. Whether being a user
or dealer the war is on and it has cost its government and its
citizens billions of dollars a year for years. And to this day
there is no end in sight.
While the government
continues to spend our hard earned money on the war against street-drugs;
it supports a medical/pharmaceutical industry that has turned its citizens
into a bunch of pill-poppin drug users. Drugs that offer warnings
such as dizziness, headache, diarrhea, stomach problems, heart problems,
liver problems, and worse are becoming a way of life. The new dealers
offer something for everyone and all you need is an appointment with
your Doctor. Youre guaranteed a ticket, otherwise known as a prescription,
to RX heaven.
Although I believe that there is a time and place for pharmaceuticals;
the complete and total reliance upon them is out of control. There is
little, if any, education or discussion on the prevention of illness
and degenerative disease. Our complacency has put our health in a precarious
position; the hands of an industry that makes billions of dollars a
year off of sick people. Doctors live in their esoteric unreality where
being questioned is the equivalent to being slapped across the face.
Apparently eight years of schooling has put them in an elitist group
that cant be touched by common sense or just plain concern. And
in all those years of schooling they seem to know close to nothing about
nutrition or prevention. If they do know anything about either one or
both theyre keeping it to themselves. The solution to everything,
from headache to heart disease, comes in the form of a tablet or capsule.
This has become the reality. The mere mention of alternative-medicine
to a real doctor never fails to provoke a sardonic response
leaving the patient feeling like a fool. To put it simply, natural medicine
is treated like voodoo. The fact is that the majority of pharmaceutical
drugs are derived from plant sources. Our drug companies have been isolating
and synthesizing the active-ingredients of plant life for years making
drugs that can be sold for huge profits. Meanwhile, whether or not we
can afford the cost, weve become dependent on legal drugs to maintain
our health. No questions asked.
Nutrition has become something that youll find mentioned in tabloid-esque
magazines such as People or US Weekly in regards to this
actress or that rock-stars latest get slim quick diet. In
the mean time, diabetes among adults and children alike has become the
latest epidemic. One can pick up a box of any childrens cereal
and find among the list of additives and preservatives, refined sugar
as one of the primary ingredients. With our busy schedules we lack the
time to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals. Instead we allow Chef
Boyardee and Mama Celeste into our kitchens; absolutely everything
is pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-cooked and ready to eat in five minutes.
And we pretend that this isnt affecting the health of ourselves
and our children. We take our children to the pediatrician and ask how
this couldve happened; what can you do to make my child better.
We rely on everyone, but ourselves for information. We have put the
most important aspects of a healthy and happy life into the hands of
the medical industry without using the slightest bit of common sense.
The quality of life which should be gauged by health and happiness is
instead gauged by things as trite as what kind of car one owns. The
average person is more concerned with what they put on their bodies
than with what they put into their bodies and then wonder why they have
high blood pressure at the age of twenty nine.
Delaney Amendment: If a product causes cancer in animals it cannot
be put in food!
The late FDA toxicologist, Dr Adrian Gross, testified to the senate:
"In view of all these indications that the cancer-causing potential
of aspartame is a matter that had been established way beyond any reasonable
doubt, one can ask: What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the
FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment
to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? Is it not clear beyond any shadow
of a doubt that aspartame has caused brain tumors or brain cancer in
"Given that this is so (and I cannot see any tenable argument opposing
the view that aspartame causes cancer, how would the FDA justify its
position that it views a certain amount of aspartame (50mgm/kgm body
weight) as constituting an ADI (Allowable Daily Intake) or "safe"
level of it? Is that position not the equivalent to setting a "tolerance"
for this food additive and thus a violation of that law? And if the
FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health
of the public?"
The above statement in regards to the FDA was made by one of its own
and is just one example of many. To avoid weight gain or perhaps because
of afflictions like diabetes the public, rather then choosing to avoid
soda altogether, chooses diet soda over its sugar-filled counterpart.
And lets face it; our bodies arent equipped to utilize synthetic
chemicals just like theyre not equipped to handle large quantities
of refined sugar or any other overly-processed foods. To put it simply,
we are exchanging one vice for another that is just as bad or maybe
even worse. We live in a society that doesnt seem to understand
the concept of moderation. A diet soda once in awhile probably wouldnt
cause cancer, but most soda-drinkers dont drink soda once in awhile.
Most will drink it everyday which is why we have gotten to the point
of needing the diet soda alternative.
Our lifestyles and lack of education have created the need
for pharmaceuticals. I grew up in a house-hold with parents who didnt
really care how much soda we drank. They didnt monitor the mountain
of ice cream or piles of cookies that we consumed on a daily basis.
As a child, my parents had me in the doctor for this headache or that
stomach-ache on a regular basis. I was poked, prodded, and tested for
every allergy your imagination can muster to no avail. Perhaps if my
doctor had taken the time to question my dietary habits I wouldnt
have suffered more than the usual childhood cough. For me, life is about
quality not quantity. Having a handful of meds that keep me barely alive
until ninety isnt living. Being healthy and active and independent
of pain and pills is living.
We are a society that insists on the best of everything. If were
interested in purchasing a car we make sure that we know everything
about it before we spend the money. Control is something that we dont
give up very easily. So why do we give up control over the most important
aspects of being alive?
© Ginette Ballard April 2006
ginetteballard at yahoo.com
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