Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Doping of America

"...That a dictator could, if he so desired, make use of [certain psychotropic chemicals] for political purposes is obvious. He could ensure himself against political unrest by changing the chemistry of his subjects' brains and so making them content with their servile conditions. He could use tranquillizers to calm the excited, stimulants to arouse enthusiasm in the indifferent, hallucinants to distract the attention of the wretched from their miseries."
Aldous Huxley


According to a new report, over 10% of the American population is on antidepressants! That doesn't even include all of the other mind altering drugs that the pharmaceutical companies push on the people. Or the vast amounts of alcohol and illegal drugs in use.

Big Pharma is making big inroads. Those advertisements and the various ways that doctors are bought and persuaded to make sure that the drugs are prescribed is working. I bet they've got plans to increase the numbers even more.

All of this while medical marijuana is still a crime in most places. And those that self prescribe, well...that's got to stop. The industrial prison system is awaiting you.

Obama's health plan for all will surely get those antidepressants into your hands and you won't need to smoke your medicine. Maybe they won't have to deny any of the elderly or needy to pay for your dope but the money only goes so far. If you can take your pill and work, well...someone's got to pay for all of it.

Brave New World anyone? Huxley warned us.

The number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled to 10.1 percent of the population in 2005 compared with 1996, increasing across income and age groups, a study found. An estimated 27 million Americans ages 6 and older were taking the drugs by 2005, while their use of psychotherapy declined, according to Columbia University researchers. The findings highlight the need for doctors who are not psychiatrists and prescribe the medicines to be trained to diagnose and manage depression so patients get the most effective treatment, said the study’s lead author, Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute. {NY Times}

About 6 percent of people were prescribed an antidepressant in 1996 -- 13 million people. This rose to more than 10 percent or 27 million people by 2005, the researchers found.

"Significant increases in antidepressant use were evident across all sociodemographic groups examined, except African Americans," Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University in New York and Steven Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia wrote in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Not only are more U.S. residents being treated with antidepressants, but also those who are being treated are receiving more antidepressant prescriptions," they added.

More than 164 million prescriptions were written in 2008 for antidepressants, totaling $9.6 billion in U.S. sales, according to IMS Health.

Drugs that affect the brain chemical serotonin like GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK.L) Paxil, known generically as paroxetine, and Eli Lilly and Co's (LLY.N) Prozac, known generically as fluoxetine, are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant. But the study found the effect in all classes of the drugs.

Olfson and Marcus said out-of-pocket costs for psychotherapy and lower insurance coverage for such visits may have driven patients away from seeing therapists in favor of an easy-to-prescribe pill.

The rise in antidepressant prescriptions also is seen despite a series of public health warnings on use of antidepressant drugs beginning in 2003 after clinical trials showed they increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and teens.

In February 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added its strongest warning, a so-called black box, on the use of all antidepressants in children and teens. {more}

And we wonder why so many folks can't even imagine that they and their children and grandchildren are slaves to dope and debt.

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, 'Make us your slaves, but feed us.' " Aldous Huxley

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