Don’t forget prescribed drugs

Published 10:08 am Friday, August 9, 2013

Confirmation bias means ignoring any facts that don’t fit our opinions. Misquotes and skewed statistics are particularly handy tricks, so I was especially irritated by the July 28 opinion piece about drug abuse, in which someone who makes her living off the illegal drug use industry implied that 9 out of 10 accidental deaths are due to drug overdose.

It’s a true statistic if only she had produced the statement with the word pharmaceutical, because it is prescribed drug overdoses that are most responsible for accidental deaths. A pharmacist friend once said, “I can’t believe I spent five years in a school so I can count pills,” but because of the closed system that poses as medical care, no branch ever corrects mistakes by any other part of the hydra.

Recently I asked a druggist if the prescription I was given in another state would qualify as a massive overdose, and she said she couldn’t comment. A lady down the street said she was on 10 different pills a day. She was loyal to her doctor because she had been going to him for years, and I assume he kept adding pills to correct her symptoms. Time for a new doctor, methinks, though now your medical record procedes your visit, and no doctor with a future disparages a colleague. Recently in Mother Jones Magazine I read an article about a veteran on 19 medications for post-traumatic stress disorder. What authority condones 19 drugs in one body day after day?

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To quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, “I firmly believe that if the whole material medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be better for mankind — and all the worse for the fishes.”

Speaking of quotes, Shakespeare did write “first kill all the lawyers” but nearly everyone who quotes that line leaves out the prior line that predicts the path to disaster. So too, do radicals who quote Barry Goldwater’s speech about extremism in the defense of liberty. They usually leave out the next sentence about justice.


Diane Kadrmas
Albert Lea