24% of Kids on Prescription Drugs!
A quarter of all the children in the US are on prescription drugs? My first reaction was to think that this has to be wrong but in September 2011 the US National Centre for Health Statistics published a study that said exactly that.
I would love to share some interesting, if not telling, “health” statistics with you. Remember from an earlier post that most people in western society use the term health care to describe medical care, but I’ll let you decide how to define things. A big thank you to Don Petersen and Dynamic Chiropractic for alerting me to these numbers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics study published in September 2011, the percentage of Americans on prescription drugs in a given month has risen from 39.1 percent (1988-94) to 47.2
percent (2005-08). So nearly half of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug!
But wait! It gets better. In the U.S. as of 2008 (you can assume the numbers are even higher today), in any given month:
- 20.8% of all people are on three or more prescription drugs.
- 11 % of all people are on five or more prescription drugs.
- 25.3% of children and teens (under the age of 18) are on at least one prescription drug.
- 52.4% of all women are on at least one prescription drug.
- 90.1% of seniors (ages 65 and older) are on at least one prescription drug.
- 65% of seniors are on three or more prescription drugs.
- 36.7% of seniors are on five or more prescription drugs.
- Nice! And which drugs are Americans popping like Pez?
- Children (under 12 years of age): asthma (5.7% of children are taking prescription drugs for this), asthma/allergies (3.9% of children), infections (3.7% of children).
- Teens (ages 12-19): attention deficit disorder (6.1%), asthma (5.4%), antidepressants (4.8%).
- Adults (ages 20-59): antidepressants (10.8%), pain relief (10.1%), cholesterol-lowering drugs (8.4%).
- Seniors (60+ years): cholesterol-lowering drugs(44.9%), beta-blockers (26.4%), diuretics (19.9%).
The idea that we are fundamentally flawed in some way and so need added chemicals to fix us is an underlying belief that runs through our society. It is the reason why we have a sick care system as a “health care” system and why drugs and surgery are our main “health” interventions. Let me clearly state again, that I am not anti-drugs and surgery. That would be absurd, there are times when they are necessary and right.
Lifestyle, how we eat, move and think, need be the first thing we pay attention to and we need to pay attention to it BEFORE we get sick! That is prevention and that is the only solution to our health care crisis, and yes, it is a crisis!
Even when we are diagnosed with a condition, lifestyle should be the first intervention BEFORE drugs and surgery. No chemical is going to undo the effects of poor lifestyle. I’m not even going to touch on the negative consequences of being on medication, their “side effects” and long term consequences. That’s a few posts on their own. Suffice to say that putting children on meds from a young age instead of focusing on effective lifestyle change is just pouring fuel on the fire.
What can you do to stop yourself becoming yet another statistic? Eat, move and think in ways that match your genetic code.
Are you on any meds? Did you receive real lifestyle advice from your prescribing physician before being put on them?
What are you doing to make sure that you never get put on meds?