A recent number of academic studies, CDC statistics and journal reports have presented some sobering statistics about prescription drugs. In this compilation article, which has become widely distributed over the internet,18 facts from these resources are put together to present a chilling picture of the many dangers that prescription medicine presents to our society.
#1 According to the CDC, the percentage of Americans that say that they have taken a prescription drug within the last month has risen to almost 50 percent.
#2 The percentage of Americans that say that they have taken two or more prescription drugs within the last month has risen to 31 percent, and the percentage of Americans that say that they have taken five or more prescription drugs within the last month has risen to 11 percent.
#3 The CDC reports that approximately 9 out of every 10 Americans at least 60 years of age say that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month.
#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 25 percent of all kids and teens in the United States take prescription drugs on a regular basis.
#5 One brand new study has found that more than 20 percent of all American adults are taking at least one drug for “psychiatric” or “behavioral” disorders.
#6 A recent Government Accountability Office report shockingly discovered that approximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.
In fact, the report found that many states seem to be doping up foster children as a matter of course. Just check out these stunning statistics….
In Texas, foster children were 53 times more likely to be prescribed five or more psychiatric medications at the same time than non-foster children. In Massachusetts, they were 19 times more likely. In Michigan, the number was 15 times. It was 13 times in Oregon. And in Florida, foster children were nearly four times as likely to be given five or more psychotropic medications at the same time compared to non-foster children.
#7 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world.
#8 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
#9 The total number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled between 1996 and 2005.
#10 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
#11 It has been reported that approximately 200,000 Americans a year are killed by prescription drugs.
#12 According to the Los Angeles Times, drug deaths (mostly caused by prescription drugs) are climbing at an astounding rate….
Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, years for which more detailed data are available. Deaths more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69, the Times analysis found. In terms of sheer numbers, the death toll is highest among people in their 40s.
#13 According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 36 million Americans have abused prescription drugs at some point in their lives.
#14 A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.
#15 The CDC says that spending on prescription drugs more than doubled between 1999 and 2008.
#16 Prescription drugs cost about 50% more in the United States than they do in other countries.
#17 Each year, tens of billions of dollars is spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States alone.
#18 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits during 2008.
COMMENTARY: This purpose of publishing these statistics is not to suggest that allopathic medicines should never be used. They have a clear place in managing illness when they are prescribed correctly. However the indiscriminate use of prescription medications – something we often refer to here as the Pill of the Month Club – is not useful. Almost 750.000 people a year end up in emergency rooms because of interaction between prescribed medications, and over 200,000 deaths a year are attributed to prescription meds. The numbers may be higher because often the interactions are not reported.
In 27 years no deaths have ever been attributed to vitamin supplements (1). During that time 3,000,000 deaths were attributed to prescription drugs. In addition, despite the fact that as a nation we consume more medication than any other nation on the planet, we still are only number 23 in life expectancy. If meds really are so beneficial for our health it would seem the US should be a little higher on that life expectancy list,at least in the top 10 – in our opinion.
Supplements and herbs are usually not FDA approved, and therefore insurance companies consider them “experimental” and will not reimburse for them. However please note that all the medications causing emergency room visits and death are FDA approved, and paid for by insurance. This is a very important fact to remember when you read about the dangers of supplements and how regulation by the FDA will insure public safety.