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Death by Prescription


As an opioid overdose crisis sweeps across our nation, another insidious danger is hidden from view – death by prescription. Drugs taken as prescribed kill around 130,000 Americans each year.

Unfortunately, most rarely take notice of multiple reactions that each drug is capable of causing. Adverse side-effects can often be worse than the original ailment. One side-effect of some drugs, taken as prescribed, can be death. I personally believe the patient should sign a form stating that they have read the list of side-effects with each prescription drug – or vaccine.

The problem with vaccines, I’ve heard, is that doctors sometimes storm out of the room or refuse you as a patient if you ask to see the insert that lists side-effects. It is also my understanding that they are coached on how to counter resistance from patients. I know too many parents who were bullied into vaccinating their child – and some of these children ended up with autism and other disorders.

The elderly are most vulnerable, especially when living alone. A failing memory or confusion from dementia or Alzheimer’s can cause older citizens to take drugs more often than prescribed. Even in assisted care, though rarely acknowledged, a great majority of bedridden folks are actually medicated to death. Their death certificate may state a named disease, but it is often dangerous drug interactions or the continuous taking of meds that has overwhelmed their vital organs.

The average person over 65 now uses 7 different medications per day. They or their caretaker may not even be aware of the side-effects of each drug – or the interaction between them.

How did we get here?


Drugs now kill more Americans than guns or car accidents. Nearly 2/3 of deaths are from opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. It is interesting to me that our history of drugs began with heroin.

  • 1898 – heroin became the first drug that medical doctors prescribed
  • 1890 – aspirin was introduced by Bayer Company of Germany
  • 1900 – opium, morphine, heroin and cocaine were widely used in over-the-counter medicines made by a pharmacist or manufacturer
  • 1903 – Barbiturates were introduced as sedatives to replace the more toxic bromides commonly used for headaches and stress. Bromides were discontinued in products soon after World War II.
  • 1928 -Penicillin was discovered
  • 1939 – Oxycodone first came to the U.S., but didn’t become widely used until 1996. By 2001 it was the best-selling narcotic pain reliever in the country.
  • Today – A federal survey found that 119 million Americans use prescription drugs and nearly half of all Americans over the age of 12 take prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives or stimulants.


Healing the Root

Here’s what The Townsend Letter (Nov 2014) has to say about addressing the root cause of pain:

Simply giving a pain medication without treating the underlying cause of the pain is like putting a Band-Aid over a flashing red oil light. It looks better, but then you burn your motor out a few miles later. In the same way, if you give the person’s body what it needs, the pain goes away – just like the oil light goes out when you put oil in the car.

I used to suffer from chronic pain caused by a number of health conditions. Darvon and over-the-counter drugs took away the edge, but nothing eliminated it. Darvon was banned in 2009 due to abnormal and sometimes fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.

Fortunately, I was able to get rid of all pain – really fast – with homeopathy.  I occasionally take Ruta or Rhus tox for (computer-induced) stiffness, but chiropractic, massage, exercise, and a diet free of gluten, dairy, and nightshades keeps me flexible and pain-free.

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