Some 4,000 years ago, we used all sorts of roots to treat a variety of conditions. Later, during the Middle Ages, roots were said to be heathen and people were advised to say a prayer instead. Two hundred years ago, prayers were considered superstitious, and bizarre potions were believed to be the answer. In the early 20th century, penicillin was discovered, and those potions proved to be snake oil. A few decades and several bug mutations later, antibiotics are now poison, and we should consider some roots instead. That pretty much sums up the evolution of medicine. Abuse, addiction, and irrational use of prescription medication has become a plague of our modern society. Millions of people throughout the world take pills on a daily basis, and we are facing an epidemic of over medication. Prescription drug complications are the third leading cause of deaths in America. All the while, pharmaceutical companies are cashing in a fortune. In the U.S. alone, over 100,000 people die each year due to over-the-counter medication abuse or misuse, making medicinal drugs more dangerous than illegal narcotics, claiming 300 percent more lives. Three quarters of prescription drug poisoning cases are unintentional. Only 13 percent are suicides. You only live once, so think twice before insatiably swallowing that handful of pills your doctor recklessly recommended.
Doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics even for the most minor colds, but antibiotics kill more than just viruses. In fact, they kill all living organisms, even large ones if taken in high doses and we as humans are large organisms. They also kill beneficial bacteria and yeast inside our intestines, causing severe internal malfunctions. Antibiotics overuse can lead to bacteria, virus, and superbug resistance, which can have hazardous consequences. The virus will become stronger, leading to potentially deadly complications. The most dangerous antibiotics prescribed today are Levaquin, Bactrim, and Vanconcin. Quinolones, the most prescribed class of antibiotics, which includes Cipro, Avelox, and Floxin are also considered highly dangerous and a potential threat if administered on the long-term. Plus, they can prove useless in front of those nasty bugs.
Salicylate, commonly known as aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid, is one of the most popular and accessible pills out there, used for loads of common conditions like arthritis, pain, fever, and muscle sores. It is cheap, handy, and extremely dangerous. High doses or small doses over an extended period of time can lead to perforated ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Plus, 90 to 95 percent of Reye’s Syndrome cases were preceded by aspirin abuse. The disease devastates internal organs, aiming for the liver and brain.
Acetaminophen, commonly known as Tylenol, is one of the most dangerous medicinal drugs on the market and the leading cause of calls to Poison Control Centers in the US. Each year, 56,000 people end up in the emergency room due to Tylenol abuse, and an average 450 people die due to liver failure caused by misuse. The pain reliever is also a very popular choice for suicides. However, those who attempt to overdose using Tylenol are in for a surprise. Instead of drifting away easily, they will face a slow and painful death. Symptoms include nausea and diarrhea, sweating and irritability. The brain swells, the liver is damaged, and the organs begin to shut down one by one.
NSAID stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Most common NSAIDs are ibuprofen and naproxen, the active compounds in meds like Advil, Aleve, and arthritis drugs like Motrin and Celebrex, used to relieve all sorts of pains. Even their name sounds dangerous. Just check out these facts: the odds of dying after two months of NSAIDs use is 1 in 1,200; around 16,685 people die each year due to complications, meaning they are just as dangerous as AIDS; NSAIDs often lead to gastrointestinal bleeding and perforated ulcers.
6. Cholesterol Pills
Statins are a class of prescription medicine used for cholesterol reduction. Drugs like Mevacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lipitor, and Crestor reduce cholesterol production in the liver, and for years they have been considered some kind of miracle pills that can alleviate one of modern society’s most common health problems. However, statins also come with severe side-effects even the FDA expressed their concern about. They can lead to diabetes, brain damage, liver failure, and early death. What’s more, using statins for primary prevention doesn’t really do anything to prevent heart attack or stroke, making them useless. On the long-term, they can lead to liver toxicity, muscle inflammation, and even cataracts. They can interact with the most common of foods, and the combination can prove deadly. For example, grapefruit can cause the statins to be absorbed faster than normal into the bloodstream, leading to irreparable muscle damage.
5. Blood Thinners
Blood thinners like Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Coumadin are widely prescribed to prevent strokes and heart attacks, but they also prevent blood clotting. Even the smallest scratch or cut can result in excessive and uncontrollable bleeding, which can eventually lead to death. There’s absolutely no antidote for the bleeding and when blood thinners are combined with aspirin, they make a lethal concoction that can lead to internal bleeding.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects our mood, sleep, and anxiety. High levels lead to anxiety, and low levels to depression. SSRIs, short for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are prescription medication used to regulate serotonin levels in the brain, commonly known as antidepressants. Popular antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, and Lexapro can lead to akathisia, a condition characterized by constant agitation, often associated with antisocial behavior, violence, and suicide. Quite ironically, antidepressants can make your depression even worse. Sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiovascular diseases, and mood disorders are only a few of their potentially lethal side-effects.
No surprise here. After all, psychotics are the number one choice when it comes to overdosing. One of the deadliest drug classes, they are prescribed for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and chronic depression. On the short-term, popular antipsychotics like Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal, and Abilify increase blood sugar levels, as well as lipid and cholesterol levels, and can lead to weight gain. However, in the long-term, they can cause severe brain damage and induce the metabolic syndrome, which includes life-threatening cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Seroquel alone was the cause behind 29,436 emergency room visits in 2009 in the U.S.
Benzodiazepines are psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, seizures, nausea, and vomiting. They are a group of medication commonly known as tranquilizers, or sedatives, and it’s easy to imagine why so many people become addicted to them. Xanax, or alprazolam, was the cause of 112,552 emergency room visits in 2009 in the U.S. Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium, also known as diazepam, are among the top 100 most commonly prescribed meds. Common side-effects are dizziness, sedation, and weakness. However, studies show that those suffering from addiction to painkillers also tend to abuse sedatives. When combined, the two make a deadly combination and yet, doctors continue to prescribe them together.
1. Opiate-Based Painkillers
The main reason behind the overmedication epidemic that hit the Globe these past years, painkillers are more addictive than narcotics. Each year, around 16,000 people in the U.S. die due to opiate-based pain pills abuse. Prescription painkillers kill twice as much people as cocaine. Everyone who’s ever had major surgery, accident, or trauma to their body has been prescribed some kind of opiate-based pain reliever. These include Oxycontin, Vicodin, Lorcet, Norco, Percocet, Percodan, codeine, and morphine, widely prescribed and commonly abused painkillers, one of the leading causes of deaths in America today. Let’s not forget Actiq, the berry-flavored lollipop that’s 100 times stronger than morphine. In 2009 Methadone, also in the opiate class, was the cause of 63,031 emergency room visits in the U.S. Misuse of opiate-based painkillers can lead to a slow heart rate, palpitations, and breathing problems. Common side-effects are muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, and cold flashes. Being addicted to painkillers is just like being hooked on heroin.