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May 31st, 2011
09:45 AM ET

Does good health come in a pill? Why Americans may put too much faith in drugs

This week, CNN's In Depth series is focusing on medication nation – and the state of prescription drugs in the United States.

Some unbelievable numbers to look at this morning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 74% of doctor visits result in a prescription. Also, 48% of Americans regularly use at least one prescription drug and a whopping 75% of Americans – that's three out of four people - misuse their prescriptions or don't take them as directed.

What can be done about this over reliance on medication? This morning, Christine Romans talks with John Abramson, author of "Overdosed America" and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. She asks him whether things have gotten out of control.

Filed under: Drugs • In Depth
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Laura Borst

    Medical training today overemphasizes synthetic drugs. This is likely because pharmaceutical companies often influence medical education in various ways that bias doctors towards synthetic drugs. You can also read "The Truth About Drug Companies" by Marcia Angell,M.D., a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. Natural remedies often help people with their problems while causing less harm. You can find information about natural ways of caring for one's health at www dot naturalnews dot com.

    Psychiatry often pathologizes people's sadness as "clinical depression". There are many other ways that psychiatry pathologizes peoples' natural feelings, like labeling shyness as "social anxiety disorder". Drug companies than market drugs for the same feelings that have been pathologized as "mental illness". Dissident psychiatrist Thomas Szasz(www dot szasz dot com) has often criticized the way psychiatry pathologizes peoples' difficulties as "mental illnesses".

    June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  2. Vern

    I believe it's true that we as a country take too many drugs. Have a pain take a pill, don't feel just right, take a pill. The drug industry wants us to get on these drugs because it's their livelihood and they have millions if not billions invested in the development of these drugs and they would like to get that back and make some money. But not enough testing for safety and effectiveness of these drugs is normally done. That's why you see so many commercials for "Have you taken XYZ drug? You could be due monetary damages. Call 1-800-Bad-Drug". You can't watch TV without seeing a drug commercial and commercials for lawyers suing the Drug Companies.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:01 am |