How to Tell if This New Drug is Right for You
With the huge, and growing, variety of new drugs available today, you can’t possibly try them all. Information about drugs, always impenetrably technical, and mostly written in impossibly small type, dissuade most drug users from even trying to learn anything about the drugs they take, beyond the street name. So, how can you tell if a new drug is right for you?
Nearly everyone takes drugs of some kind, at least at times, and for many, drugs form a regular part of our daily routine. This is nothing new. You could argue, as I have in the past, that civilization itself, began as a dysfunctional adjustment to support an alcoholic lifestyle, that took hold some 10,000 years ago. Indigenous hunter/gatherer cultures have used hallucinogenic plants and other plant medicines ceremonially for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. Even animals, from songbirds to elephants imbibe from time to time, and some, like the koala, have cultivated their addictions for so long that evolution has shaped their bodies to accommodate their habits.
Economically, in the US alone, the pharmaceutical drug industry accounts for trillions of dollars in business activity annually, and forms a large portion of US GDP. Despite generally terrific profit margins, the pharmaceutical industry enjoys huge government subsidies as well. Yet, despite downturns in the rest of the economy, and growing government debt, drug use, drug profits, and drug subsidies continue to grow at an alarming rate.
Paradoxically, we, as people, continue to get sicker and poorer. We cannot lay this epidemic of disease completely at the feet of the pharmaceutical industry. Other factors, like an environment increasingly polluted with persistent toxins, poor diet, dangerous food additives, and long hours at stressful, yet sedentary, jobs all contribute to our general poor health. However, the drug industry itself contributes greatly to the proliferation of disease in our modern society.
A single drug can have many dangerous side effects, which often trigger new and serious health conditions. The explosion of new drugs has created an exponential growth in side effects, and with them a host of new conditions, which in turn, require more medication. Toxic pollution, generated in the production of drugs, cause disease in humans as well as in the animal kingdom. Disposal of drugs, usually in the urine of drug users, take their toll on human health and aquatic wildlife as they inevitably find their way into our nations waterways and water supplies. Addiction and overdose only add to legacy of disease that we can attribute to our remarkably vibrant Health-Care industrial complex.
No amount of spending, public or otherwise, no amount of new drugs, and no number of new doctors will solve this looming crisis. You might find this fact very depressing, and it might make you anxious about the future. If so, the drug industry has many drugs specifically formulated to treat those conditions. Still, how do you know if a new drug is right for you?
Here, I offer few general guidelines that I, a layperson, use to determine if a new drug is right for me:
If I see a commercial on TV that includes the words, “Ask your Doctor if…is right for you.”, I assume that drug sucks. I assume that if a company has to advertize their drug on TV, it must be a waste of money, like everything else I see advertized on TV.
On the other hand, if I read a headline like: “Nude Man Who Hijacked City Bus and Crashed Into Downtown Restaurant, Claims He Was Under the Influence of New Drug” I will probably try that drug.
If I see the name of a drug on anything in a doctors office, like the pen he writes with, the pad of paper he writes on, the lanyard around his neck holding his ID, anatomical models, lamps, tissue boxes, drapes, posters, etc., I will definitely not ask for any of those drugs. If a doctor does recommend a drug, any drug, I always ask if he has any free samples on hand, and if he can recommend a generic alternative.
But, if I see someone babbling incoherently, while writhing in a puddle of their own vomit, I will definitely ask around to find out what drug they took, and probably try some myself.
Finally, if a beautiful young woman asks me if I have a particular drug, I will do everything I can to find that drug immediately.
Of course, these are only general guidelines that reflect my own personal predilections, but they are informed by this statistical fact: You are significantly more likely to die of an overdose from a prescription drug your doctor recommended, than you are from a recreational drug you bought from a street dealer.