Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR)
Pharmaceutical drugs cause widespread death and illness
Pharmaceutical drugs and medications of all sorts are possibly the leading direct cause of death and illness in the Western world. Officially, the fourth most common cause of death in the USA is adverse drug reactions caused by pharmaceutical medicines.
The official ADR figure does not include overdoses, or cases in which the drug was administered in error. If you include the errors made by doctors and medical staff, then current medical practices become the third leading cause of death in the USA, killing over 250,000 people. This leading cause of death is a new phenomenon that has only come about in the last century. I suspect this figure is too low, as it only represents the numbers admitted to by doctors, insurance companies and their representative bodies.
If 250,000 Americans were killed by medications, can you imagine how many more are alive, but suffering from their side-effects? May I suggest that nearly all people who are taking manufactured medicines are suffering the consequences in one form or another. Often, these illnesses will seem unrelated to the medications. Millions of people are sick and dying because of the drugs and medications they are taking! Antidepressants, tranquilisers, beta-blockers, antihistamines, antibiotics, steroids, vaccines, oral contraceptives, over-the-counter medications and thousands of other drugs are consumed in vast quantities every day.
On 18 July 2002 the Australian Council for Health and Safety released a news item stating that 2-3% of hospital admissions in Australia, totaling 140,000 patients, were caused by ADR. I suspect this figure is many orders of magnitude too low. Firstly, the pride of the medical profession is at stake, having to admit that a large proportion of illnesses, hospital admissions and deaths are caused by the very medications they are prescribing! According to Dr David Lipschitz,(1) 26% of hospital admissions in the USA are due to drug related illnesses. He adds that among adults who are taking eleven or more drugs daily, the risk of adverse reactions approaches 100%.
The Western allopathic approach to treating disease is often the cause of the disease, not the cure. Drugs interact with each other and with pollutants in the environment to form complex, un-researched by-products, often in minute quantities. Sometimes these complex chemicals are unique to the particular individual, depending on the combination of drugs they are taking, foods they are eating, and pollutants to which they are exposed.
Human biochemical, electrical and energy systems are so complex that at this time science has little understanding of them. Our knowledge of hormones, enzymes, electrical and energy systems is increasing rapidly, but we still have little idea of the ramifications of using manufactured (unnatural) drugs and medications in our bodies. The interactions of drugs with our hormones, enzymes and with other drugs, foods and pollutants are complex, subtle and often long-term.
A better alternative
Often the pharmaceutical companies market a product knowing that there are better alternatives available. Older, or expired-patent drugs are often more effective or have fewer side-effects. They have no legal requirement to promote the best remedy for an ailment, and they don't. They actively try to block or discredit the use of natural remedies, home remedies, and effective cures that cannot be patented.
I firmly believe that nutrition and lifestyle is the key to good health. Natural micronutrients and herbs, (along with the living foods recommended in Grow Youthful) are nearly always the most effective treatment for any ailment. Many doctors are getting better results with diet and lifestyle changes than with drugs, though they risk the ire of their medical associations for not conforming. Whilst manufactured drugs have a place in the treatment of chronic diseases and life-threatening illnesses, they also have a cost. Do not take any drug lightly.
1. Lipschhitz, David.
Breaking the Rules of Ageing.
Lifeline Press, 2002.
2. This article is an extract from Grow Youthful, A Practical Guide to Slowing Your Aging, by David Niven Miller