Q. Is anyone else annoyed, irritated, angered by the number of pharmaceutical commercials on TV? They are like mini movies selling people drugs that will make them break out in song and skip down the sidewalk. My concern is the number of people who believe it. Is there anything we can do to stop them?

A. I wish I had the magic wand that “poof” and they all would disappear. But since no wand the only thing we can do is turn the channel or mute when they come on.
Pharmaceutical companies are getting rich, rich, rich convincing people how much better their lives would be with MORE drugs. Let me be very clear and say, “some medications are necessary and life saving and should NOT be stopped. But many of these medications are not being advertised on TV. They don’t need people singing and dancing to sell them.
But please beware when you see an advertisement that begins with, “if your anti-depressant is not working, talk to your doctor about adding drug Z.” OR you could talk to your therapist about trying to change something in your life that is NOT working. I have never seen a job or marriage that has been saved because someone added more drugs!!
But here is the caveat, it takes more energy to go to therapy and initiate changes than it does to “pop a pill.” Even when the side effects are quickly shared, people still pay more attention to the butterflies than the hemorrhaging.
It would be interesting to know how much money Big Pharma spends on these elaborate advertisements. Because the prices that are charged for many of these medications are more than people can afford. When you have to decide on buying your medication vs groceries that is wrong.
The propaganda related to drugs is very real. Remember when the tobacco industry said there were NO chemicals in cigarettes that would cause addiction? How about the wonderful opiates for pain and benzodiazepines for anxiety? Drug companies get rich off other people suffering and they smile while they do it and lie without remorse.
Turn off the advertisements, get up off the sofa, go for a walk, clean the bathroom, call a friend but don’t call a doctor for medicine. Call a therapist, discuss a healthier life style and use your “drug” money to go to a movie or have dinner with friends.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

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