Confession…..I sell drugs. In fact, I’ve sold drugs for over 10 years now.
I’ve sold drugs to old people, to impaired people, even to kids.
And, I’ve done it all legally.
I’m a Medical Sales rep: I’ve moved up the ranks from a Pharmaceutical rep to a Medical and Surgical Sales rep. I love the physicians I sell to-I believe they do what they can within the flawed system we live in.
But, the overall problem is-Americans love drugs.
And why not? Drugs provide instant gratification, drugs give us the ability to keep up unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors and just pop a pill to fix it! No muss, no fuss and NO work involved. Perfect for our Western society who don’t want to take a moment and LISTEN to what our body is telling us. Perfect for our overworked culture that doesn’t allow for yoga, meditation or reflection.
But, you say, “I don’t have time or money to do yoga and get all hippie-like and look inside-I’m barely hanging on here!”
My argument is-we can’t afford NOT TO
In 2011-prescription drug spending was $320 BILLION dollars
The #1 was Lipitor at $5,329,000,000 – (Lipitor is for high cholesterol)
#2 Zyprexa (antipsychotic) at $2,496,000,000
Closing out the top 5- Concerta (ADHD) $929,000,000
You may wonder-who ARE these people taking all these drugs?? Midwest fatties?? Crazy old people?? No, they are young, healthy people just like us.
1 out of every 4 American women is on psychiatric medication
1/4th of people aged 18-39 are on 2 drugs or more
Americans are on drugs earlier and earlier-sold on the idea at a young age that we need ‘fixed’.
Every day. pharmaceutical companies make up new disorders with new medications to sell along with it (Restless Leg Syndrome-really???) all to make more money from.
The DSM-IV has over 400 mental disorders- from 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder to 312.31 Pathological Gambling to 312.89 Other Conduct Disorder. With all those to choose from, Drs are able to find a diagnosis to justify medication for just about everyone who wants it.
Out Western culture is sucked into this idea- that our mind and body is not our own. The idea that some designer medication will ‘fix’ what is broken because we simply can’t slow down enough to take ownership over what is most precious.
Of course, some people have mental disorders or challenges that require help and medication-but no one can argue that we are treating the anxiety and depression of the average person effectively when heavily addictive pills are the first option.
Believe me, I’ve seen the medications I sell help cancer patients live longer, get women pregnant, open up blood vessels and extend life. I believe in what I sell, but none of it is among even the top 5 of the most expensive drugs. The drugs I’ve sold help create life and extend life and they are expensive. But, they don’t even come close to costing what lifestyle related medications cost the system.
Call me crazy-but I’d love to see a day when my industry shrinks to the point that we are only treating old and end-of-life patients and when holistic treatments like yoga and meditation replace pills.
And, when the most common drugs come in the form of a brownie or in a pipe-but maybe I’m just dreaming…….