Poppin’ Pills Ain’t Curin’ Ills (Part 2)

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child taking pillsIn Part 1 of this article, Midlifexpress’s resident shaman/pharmacist expressed his disquiet about society’s increasing reliance on potent drugs to treat every conceivable human ailment. Part 2 continues his disturbing expose.

Treatment of gastric and oesophageal problems has also ballooned in recent times, with there being two theories. Excess acid – so the old antacids, bicarbonates and salts of magnesium, calcium and aluminium were used extensively until modern, high-potency antacids took over. Zantac, Tagamet and others prevailed for a while and then Losec, Nexium, and Somac stormed in. All these drastically reduce the hydrochloric acid naturally produced in the stomach to aid digestion so, again, a natural system was greatly reduced and modified.

The other theory was the presence of a bacterium –  helicobacter – in some people’s stomachs.  The answer was an intense course of three potent antibiotics which, in my experience of people taking them, never seemed to work. But I have no doubt the antibiotics stuffed up their gastric systems even more. Helicobacter is so wide-spread in Western communities that I suspect it is only  a problem when in imbalance — that is, antibiotic  treatment,  has killed off beneficial bacteria and allowed this one to flourish.

A parallel here is the treatment of giardia which is a naturally occurring protozoa in everyone’s gut. Occasionally there is a rapid increase in its population, causing some mild diarrhoea. This is called giardiasis and is treated, of course, with antibiotics – which is madness since the overgrowth of giardia would have been due to antibiotic use or other environmental factors in the first place.

Possibly the worst and most damaging form of drug treatment nowadays is the use of immune-suppressants. The older drugs were bad enough (immune-suppressing chemotherapy for cancer and arthritis), but the new batches of “MABS” (mono-clonal antibodies) and “NIBS” (tyrosine kinase inhibitors) are frightening. They are designed to interfere with the body’s natural immune system on the assumption that cancer, arthritis, MS, scleroderma, lupus and other modern scourges, are caused by auto-immune attacks—that is, the body’s immune system is mistakenly attacking its own tissue. By their very nature, these drugs have serious side-effects, caused by reducing immunity all over the body, not just in the targeted areas. I have mentioned before that one of the latest  “MABS’ seriously listed suicidal ideation and homicidal ideation as side –effects, with the manufacturers possibly hoping that the suicidal bit occurs before the homicidal bit.

There would be many more examples of natural body systems being drastically changed by drugs, but the general theme is that modern drug treatment is badly flawed, based as it is on statistics, medical people fearful of litigation and the profit motive of the international drug cartels.

The fact that the most vulnerable people in our society, the youngest and the oldest, are now routinely over-treated with drugs, is worrying.

The elderly, mostly stashed away in nursing homes, are constantly drugged up. I suspect this is mostly for convenience and the economics of running a home. A large percentage of the drugs are anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anxiolytics and sedatives. Laxatives and scabies lotions also get a good run and if the ‘psyche’ drugs don’t turn the residents into zombies, this is soon fixed with massive doses of opiate analgesics.

I was recently given a guided tour of a pharmacy which catered only to nursing homes. This was in an industrial area, with the pharmacy occupying a huge, double-storeyed factory. I walked through a tiny, gloomy reception area and into a vision of Hell. Here were ranks of computers, automated drug-dispensing machines, huge reserves of drugs constantly being used or transferred (by conveyer belts), dozens of people rushing around making Webster Packs or checking the contents, storemen, accountants, and the occasional pharmacist.

I was told there were over 100 people employed here (with perhaps 3 or 4 pharmacists in all) serving dozens of nursing homes all over Melbourne. Apart from the alien concept (to me anyway) of this huge, impersonal organisation doling out enormous quantities of drugs to people they would never meet or know in any way, what also occurred to me was the old Charlton Heston film Soylent Green. This was a vision of a nightmare future where all the oldies, the maimed and  the useless were periodically herded into a huge factory and fed  Soylent Green.

I felt this drug factory was similar—instead of the oldies coming in for their Soylent Green, it was very kindly packed up and shipped out to them, courtesy of your friendly GP and drug supplier.

Equally vulnerable and exploited are the very young. This happens because of anxious parents, who are bombarded with drug company propaganda (treating teething, sniffles, mild temperatures, mild rashes, mild colic etc., as diseases, rather than childhood hiccups). Doctors are sucked into this over-treatment and concern, ordering sedatives, anti-depressants, stimulants (for ADHD) and even anti-psychotics. I dread what this neurological tampering is doing to the young, already under enormous environmental stress. Just some more premature recruits for the Soylent Green experience, I guess.

Robert Gosstray

Robert Gosstray is a retired pharmacist and the resident health writer for Midlifexpress. He is the author of The Pharmacist's Secrets: Drugs, lies and money.

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