The problem of prescription drug addiction in the U.S. has become a health epidemic in recent years with many Americans overdosing from these powerful drugs. The film “American Addict” focuses on the relationship to prescription drugs that America has developed and the way that big pharmaceutical companies are largely to blame for the growing rate of addiction.
The documentary raises issues about prescription drugs and the lax attitude that Americans have regarding these addictive kinds of pills. It questions the forces in place that have contributed to legal medications being some of the most widespread and dangerous kinds of addictions in America.
The Use of Prescription Drugs in America
Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the U.S. with more than 7 million people using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. America represents only 5% of the world’s population but actually consumes as much as 50% of the world’s prescription pills. The reason for the prevalence of prescription drugs in the U.S. is due to a number of different factors that come into play.
The film speaks about the tendency of Americans to believe that their problems can be solved by merely taking a pill. The dark side to this belief is the thousands of people that die because of taking prescription medication improperly, a fact which makes prescription drugs more dangerous than they are helpful in so many cases. The fact that these kinds of drugs are legal and prescribed often by doctors may make it hard for people to realize how incredibly addictive and lethal they can actually be.
Influence of Pharmaceutical Companies
Another reason that prescription addiction is so common is that fact that these medications are easy to obtain and have increased in availability due to the actions of big pharmaceutical companies hoping to make a profit. Prescription drugs are actually a powerful industry run with the goal of making big money at the expense of the health of Americans. Lobbyists from pharmaceutical companies pay large campaign donations to congressmen to increase their power and growth as an industry.
These companies also hold sway over the FDA which receives funding from their profits, making it harder to regulate the drugs that these companies create as the organization depends on their success. Powerful pharmaceutical companies make such an enormous profit with their drugs that they are able to buy politicians and have laws written in their favor. The power that these companies have let to prescription drugs becoming so widespread that rates of addiction are growing throughout the country.
Doctors Prescribing Too Many Pills
The film “American Addict” argues that even doctors are heavily influenced by the power of pharmaceutical companies and are at least partially to blame for the major addiction problem in the U.S. Because of the influence of these companies, doctors tend to recommend medications that patients may not even need or are not approved for their particular condition.
The reason for this is that doctors are often offered significant payments for being involved with pharmaceutical companies. With incentives to prescribe more medication and even in situations where it may be unnecessary and dangerous, doctors are not to be fully trusted by those seeking medical advice. The only solution for Americans to avoid dealing with the pain and suffering of prescription drug addiction is to be vigilant about what medications they are taking and avoid taking any that might not be necessary for their condition.
Americans also need to be aware of how potentially addictive these kinds of drugs are before they get too involved in taking certain prescription medications. The documentary sheds light on not only the problem of prescription drug addiction but the corruption that has brought this health epidemic to the forefront.
photo credit: American Addict