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Are we a Pill Popping Society?

Updated on June 24, 2013

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. Please seek the advice of your doctor before you change your diet, exercise program, or make any other lifestyle changes.

Are we in More Trouble Than we Think?

Are Health Care Professionals the new Drug Dealers?

Prescription drug abuse has forced substances with legitimate medical benefits onto the streets. These drugs are now into the hands of illegal drug dealers and abusers. How many of you have gone to a doctor within the last year and were prescribed a pill of some sort? How many of you have realized that a pill isn’t the cure all. We as a species have become dependent on oral medication. Granted, many senior citizens wouldn’t have been able to become senior citizens if it hadn’t have been for modern medication. There are also many people who truly need these medications. However, is it really necessary for the other folks, including children to be on pills for an indefinite amount of time?

There are ancient, natural remedies to ease whatever ails you. It is easier to find these holistic alternatives today than it was several years ago. Prior to the turn of the century, people in many countries and cultures became completely aware of the dangerous chemicals we ingest unnecessarily, in medications, food, water, and air. There are weight loss pills, hair growing pills, sexual enhancement pills, energy increasing pills, pills for depression, pills for headaches, pills for stomach aches, pills for fungus, pills for coughs and colds, pills for allergies, pills for insomnia, and so much more. I’ve listed below, a few types of narcotic prescription drugs that are commonly prescribed by licensed and reputable physicians on a daily basis.

Prescribed Barbiturates

Barbiturates are drugs that suppress the Central Nervous System. This class of drugs are most commonly prescribed for seizure and convulsion control. Often, barbiturates are used as an anesthetic and for sedation. They provide a calming effect. Also, barbiturates create tolerance; so if you use it on a regular basis, eventually you will need to increase your dose in order to have the same effects. If abused, addiction is highly possible, and the need to increase the dosage to get the same “high” could cause respiratory failure and death. Fortunately this group of drugs is not prescribed as much as it used to be. However, benzodiazepines have taken over as a more effective treatment. A few barbiturates include:

  • Phenobarbital (Luminal)
  • Methylphenobarbital (Mebaral, Prominal)
  • Secobarbital (Seconal)
  • Methohexital (Brevital)

Tramadol is a prescribed pain reliever that is a synthetic opioid and induces Serotonin release, and also inhibits the reuptake of Norepinephrine.  Serotonin and Norepinephrine are mood changing chemicals in the brain.
Tramadol is a prescribed pain reliever that is a synthetic opioid and induces Serotonin release, and also inhibits the reuptake of Norepinephrine. Serotonin and Norepinephrine are mood changing chemicals in the brain. | Source

Prescribed Opiates and other Pain Killers (Analgesics)

Obviously pain killers are for easing various types of pain, caused by various reasons. Many people with painful diseases do, in fact, need some relief. Many times, a synthetic drug can be replaced by a natural substance and have the same relief. Many people I know are on some sort of regular synthetic narcotic regimen for pain, depression, or anxiety. Some of these analgesics include:

  • Morphine (Opium Derivative)
  • Oxycodone (Partial synthetic Opioid, includes Percocet, Oxycontin)
  • Hydrocodone (Partial synthetic Opioid, includes Vicoden, Lortab)
  • Codeine (Opium Derivative, includes Tylenol 3)
  • Tramadol (Synthetic analgesic that also increases Serotonin released in the brain, includes Ultram)
  • Fentanyl (Synthetic Opioid 100 times more potent than Morphine and usually prescribed as a transdermal patch or flavored lollipop for severe break through pain.)

This class of drugs is necessary in many cases. However, this class of drugs is also extremely addictive and overdose often causes death. Moreover, these drugs are often combined with other over the counter (OTC) analgesics (NSAIDS).


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID)

Studies show that too much of these analgesics (NSAIDS) can cause severe liver and kidney problems, as well as death in some cases. Here are a few common pain relievers added to opium, or opioid, analgesics:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Aspirin (Bayer or BC)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)

Is the pain really that bad? Is it worth the risk of the possible side effects? Why not try a safer way to deal with the pain, if possible?

**Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not in the NSAID family because it is not an anti-inflammatory drug, but a mere pain reliever and fever reducer.

Prescribed Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines (Benzos) are anti anxiety medications to help control panic attacks, lessen high stress situations, and ease bereavement. They are classified as a psychoactive drug suppressing the Central Nervous System. Benzos have replaced many of the formerly prescribed Barbiturates. They are also prescribed to control seizures, withdraw symptoms from alcohol abuse, and insomnia as well.

Stress is a huge contributor to terminal diseases and should be reduced as much as possible. In addition to prescribed pills, meditation, prayer, exercise, proper diet, herbs, vitamins, and minerals help to reduce stress levels. The down side to use of Benzos is addiction, and the fact that it is highly dangerous to abruptly stop taking the medication. This action could be fatal. When the time comes to stop using this drug, do it safely by weaning off under the supervision of your physician is absolutely necessary. The most common Benzos are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

Are You Part of the Pill Nation?

I realize that many people truly need the drugs their doctor's prescribe. Are you taking prescription medication on a regular basis?

See results

Prescribed Muscle Relaxers and Nerve Pain Relievers

Muscle relaxers are prescribed to control painful muscle spasms. Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and many other diseases cause extreme skeletal muscular discomfort. More often than not, individuals prescribed the follow drugs are in desperate need of them:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Tizanadine (Zanaflex)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex)
  • Methocarbamol (Robaxin)

Nerve pain relievers are anticonvulsants, anti-depressants, opioid analgesics and non-narcotic analgesics. When taking anticonvulsants or anti-depressants, it is of the utmost importance that you do not abruptly stop taking these medications. If and when the time comes to stop using these pills, be sure to wean yourself off under the close supervision of your doctor. The following are prescribed pills to treat nerve pain:

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Diphenyldantoin (Dilantin)

The Hemp Flower
The Hemp Flower | Source

Prescribed Marijuana; Is it Holistic?

As long as the plant remains 100% natural, the Hemp plant which contains Marijuana buds is holistic, in my opinion. It is a proven fact that it eases nausea, reduces pain, increases appetite, successfully treats glaucoma, and reduces stress levels. At this time, we Americans, along with most of the civilized world are given a different pill for each of these ailments.

Many states in American as well as other countries all over the world are beginning to realize the benefits of medical Marijuana. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies will have a say in any attempt to legalize the use of the plant for symptom relief.

The drugs listed above, with the exception of Marijuana, are legal to obtain by a licensed physician. It is illegal to possess them without a prescription and to sell them as well. However, they are legal drugs for you to take as often as your doctor prescribes. We haven’t even covered hard street drugs, designer drugs, and other drugs made from household products. So now, what do we do? Have we really become a pill popping society?

As always, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated. I would like to thank you for your interest in my article. I certainly hope the read was helpful, enlightening, and encouraging. Please feel free to leave a suggestion, or share your personal story in the comments section below.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan


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    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      This is AWESOME, FlawlessLogic! Thank you so much for adding a wealth of information to my hub! I am in total agreement.

    • FlawlessLogic profile image

      Kaden 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      I agree with this. This article gets an A+ from me. here's a fun fact. 2,000,000 people die each year from Prescription Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco. Compared to the deaths from illegal drugs each year which is only 10000. People die literally 2ooX more from prescription drugs than illicit drugs, And the only illegal drugs that can kill you is Speed/Meth, Heroin, and dissociatives such as PCP. LSD has caused only about 2 deaths in history from direct effects encouraged by taking

      roughly 9000x the recommended recreational dose, Marijuana has caused no deaths but the Federal Government wants it illegal because growing weed is almost like printing money and they don't want you to make money off of something you can simply plant into the soil.

      The pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical medications are a huge monopoly empowered by the central banking system, It is pure Wall ST, and nothing but a conspiracy to give the Bilderberg Bankster group more toilet paper. I am an active Benzo user because my doctor prescribes it to me for my autism and I fell into a trap of physical addiction so I know what i'm talking about. It's like A kiss from a girlfriend when you DO have it BUT a disrespectful slap in the face from her other boyfriend when you don't have it.

      In conclusion A+. Very informative, Accurate, and straight to the point. Americans don't know that they're giving themselves Alzheimer's , liver cancer/failure and many other critical health conditions by taking thousands of these semi-toxic drugs. not to mention some people insuflate/bang up these foreign substances due to their abusive/addictive properties. And btw if you have ben into some of these peoples houses they have prescriptions for Oxycontin, Vicodin , Xanax, Barbiturates, 10 brands of SSRI's, and Adderal. and might have a few medications for fatal medical conditions which themselves aren't bad when you have a life threatening condition. But I agree. The USA is nothing but a huge pill mill, a brewery, and a gigantic ashtray

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      A difficult subject to address, but sensitively done. It seems like there is still a lot to learn about helping people manage chronic pain,but I was very interested in a program on mindfulness that I watched whereby people who had a poor response to drug treatments for their pain were able to gain a measure of control through meditation exercises.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA


      First let me apologize for not approving your comments right away. Ironically, I have been in bed with a migraine for the last couple days. I too, have Fibromyalgia (see my hub on the issue), and yes, I took prescription meds for my pain.

      Secondly, this hub doesn't pertain to people like you. As stated in the first paragraph,

      "Prescription drug abuse has forced substances with legitimate medical benefits onto the streets."


      "There are also many people who truly need these medications. However, is it really necessary for the other folks, including children to be on pills for an indefinite amount of time?"

      The poll includes the following introduction,

      "I realize that many people truly need the drugs their doctor's prescribe. Are you taking prescription medication on a regular basis?"

      Thirdly, I have Tramadol listed under the section "Prescribed Opiates and other Pain Killers (Analgesics)"

      Last but not least, I want to tell you how happy I am that you have your disease is under control and are able to do so many wonderful things with your life. You are truly Blessed and have made lemonade out of life's lemons.

      Thanks for sharing your story!

    • leelee54 profile image

      leelee54 5 years ago from Savannah, GA

      I'm amazed. I posted a comment on this hub and now I don't see it. I guess since I didn't agree with what you said it was not added. I am a Tramadol user and have been for 12 years. It's the only treatment that controls my pain. I feel it is rather rude for you to not post a comment from someone who has had experience with pain killers and pain. You obviously have never experienced debilitating pain before. Before I was put on Tramadol to control my pain I would lie in the middle of my living room and cry, most days I couldn't even get out of bed. Now, there is no stopping me. So, maybe you should do more research into your subject because a lot of your data is out of date and fueled by people who are trying to make a buck off of rehab.

    • leelee54 profile image

      leelee54 5 years ago from Savannah, GA

      I am one of those who take Tramadol for fibromyalgia and have been taking it for 12 years. The same dose 3/ 50 mg per day every day for the past 5 years and 4 -6 before that. I only took 6 on my worst days and those were only 4 or 5 times a month. If it wasn't for the Tramadol I would be dead. REALLY!!!!!!!!!!! I would have killed myself because my pain was unbearable.

      It really makes me angry when people make statements about things they know nothing about. Tramadol and Ultram act on the brain like opiates but it is NOT an opiate. It is not a controlled substance and yes it can be addictive if you are prone to that type of behavior. But you have to have an addictive behavior and a history and there are warning signs if people pay attention.

      I've been called a drug addict because I take Tramadol and it pi___ me off. I have never displayed any behavior that would put me in that category. I don't get 10 prescriptions from 10 different doctors and I don't take 1500 mg of the drug either, I have actually reduced my dosage from 4-6 tablets a day to the 3 mentioned above. YES!!!!!!! the pain is that bad. It feels like 50 people are hitting me with baseball bats all over my body. And you have to take over 6 tablets before it will damage your liver.

      I have tried every over-the-counter supplement and every new and old drug as long as the side effects weren't worse than the pain I was going through. Nothing has worked for me like the Tramadol.

      I am almost back to doing the things I did before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, in 1999. I am an Advocate and Ambassador to Congress for the Arthritis Foundation, the Drop Off Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, I am writing a book and I'm starting a business to help women with fibromyalgia and I'm starting my own clothing line. I WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THIS IF MY PAIN WASN'T UNDER CONTROL.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      I'm in agreement that overuse of prescription drugs is best avoided. I generally avoid painkillers unless on very rare occasions, and I do think that people need to be careful not to overuse antibiotics or drugs for depression and anxiety. There is a place for any drug, but sometimes all that's needed is rest and a little loving care. It seems to be that often people use drugs when what's really needed is love.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Nice disclaimer Margie. I prefer to not put any drugs in my body what-so-ever. On occasion I have to but would rahter not. Nice Hub.

      The Frog

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you so much for your input, Michael. There has got to be a better way to treat people.

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 5 years ago from United States

      Your Hub really lays it out and I agree that prescription drug dependency has become a big issue. Partly I think it's due to doctors reaching for the prescription pad a little too quickly, partly due to patients who just want a pill to solve their problems, and largely just due to the addictive nature of many of those substances. Not sure what the answer is but it's definitely a serious situation.