Every year, more than 2 million Americans suffer from serious adverse drug reactions. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these reactions cause about 100,000 deaths per year, making prescription drugs the fourth-leading cause of death in the country.
Compare this to the death toll from illegal drugs — which is about 10,000 per year — and you begin to see the magnitude of the problem.
And if you dig a little deeper, you find that these reported reactions only skim the surface of what’s really going on. You see, drug side-effects are not always recognized as such. Doctors often attribute them to other causes, or people downplay them or do not report them altogether. And when you add in other medical errors, unnecessary procedures, and surgery-related mishaps, well the modern health care system actually becomes the leading cause of death in the United States. Consider, for instance, that:
- The recorded error rate of hospital Intensive Care Units is like the post office losing more than 16,000 pieces of mail every hour of every day, or banks deducting 32,000 checks from the wrong bank account every hour, 24/7.
- The recorded medical errors and deaths equate to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day, 365 days a year.
- Since 2001, a recorded 490,000 people have died from properly-prescribed drugs in the United States, while 2,996 people died on U.S. soil from terrorism, all in the 9/11 attacks. Prescription drugs are therefore 16,400% more dangerous than terrorism.
- If deaths from over-the-counter drugs are also included, then drug consumption leaps to being 32,000% more dangerous than terrorism. And conventional medicine viewed as a whole is 104,700% deadlier than terrorism.
Why Does “FDA-Approved” Not Guarantee Safety?
You’re probably wondering how clinically-tested, FDA-approved drugs that are supposed to “cure” diseases end up hurting, and in some cases killing, so many people. The answer: Because even though a drug has gone through long-term testing, when the medication is released into an uncontrolled environment (ie: your body), anything can happen.
A serious drug reaction could occur because you’re already taking another drug that interacts badly with the new one. Or perhaps a food you eat causes an unforeseen reaction. There are countless possibilities and only a tiny fraction has been “tested for” in a lab.
And that is under the best circumstances. Often, studies are biased, results are skewed, and drugs are put on a fast-track to be approved before anyone really knows whether they’re truly safe. In a sense, it is all a gamble, and THERE ARE NO 100% SAFE DRUGS out there.
This is why just about every time you open a newspaper or skim the news online, there is a new headline about another drug disaster and lawsuit: an unforeseen side-effect that has harmed innocent people.
My main message to all of you is to remember that, ultimately, it’s your body and you make the decisions on what to put in it. If your doctor suggests you take a drug, do some research before you take it. Read the lengthy, tiny printed sheets that come with any prescription medication. Buy a magnifying glass if you need to in order to read it.
Make sure you are aware of the potential side effects of every drug you take. Read the package insert and remember that even if it lists a side effect as rare, it can still happen to you.
Many, many drugs are vastly over-prescribed and unnecessary. Be sure that you take drugs as a last option – not a first choice. Many medical conditions can be treated or prevented with simple LIFESTYLE CHANGES. For example, all of the following conditions fall under that category:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
I realize that it takes a massive shift in thinking to realize that your body can heal itself, and that often drugs only hinder the process. But I believe that you, and society as a whole, are ready for it.
But here’s the thing: don’t wait until you’re sick or getting older to make healthy changes. Do them now. Become an active participant in your health and leave the unknown drug side-effects behind for good.
I’ll be posting follow-up blogs on this topic so be sure to check back for more detailed information.
And if you’d like to talk with me specifically on this subject, please sign up for one of my free monthly health classes. Click here for more information on those events.
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