Do They Kill or Cure?

A prescription drug is a medicine that is regulated by law and needs to have a prescription in order to purchase and this differentiates it from Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs. As a general rule, OTC drugs are used to cure sickness that does not require a doctor’s prescriptions. Generally, OTC drugs are the first line of defence for people against ailments outside the care and prescription of doctors. The ease and accessibility of these kinds of drugs make it very helpful for people to acquire immediate cure.

There are many times when a very low dosage of a certain kind of drug is considered as OTC; however, when the same kind of drug is purchased at a higher dose, a doctor’s prescription is required. It is the purpose then of this study to determine if, because of extant research, if drugs kill or cure. One of the studies pertaining to prescription drugs and its harmful effects once it is abused deals partly on ephedra. In studies pertaining to ephedra, strong evidence suggests that ephedra has a direct relation to an increased risk of side effects which may point to fatal effects to humans.

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In one of the studies, it was recommended by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) that consumers halt the continuous intake of dietary supplements that has ephedra or any form of derivative. It is believed that ephedra poses public health risks that pushed the FDA to prohibit the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements (Consumer Advisory, 2004). On the other hand, the war against ephedra has generally distracted the public from the far lethal effects of prescription drugs. If prescription compared to OTC drugs were measured by the same unit of measurement, more than half of all drugs would be banned outright.

OTC drugs, being accessible to generally everyone makes it very prone to drug abuse. There are many OTC drugs that when consumed in large quantities can be very addictive and can lead to uncontrollable and negative effects in the body, on of which may be death. Prescription drugs cause more than 100,000 deaths each year and causes unwarranted injuries to 2. 2 million people each year. And over-the-counter drug are no better: ibuprofen and other Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are liable for not less than 40,000 deaths yearly from gastrointestinal haemorrhaging.

However, even with such astronomical information pertaining to the lethality of these drugs, nobody in Congress is lobbying for these kinds of prescription drugs to be pulled off the market, and surprisingly the FDA still allows the continued sale in spite of the fact of the number of deaths caused by prescription drugs. Based on empirical research, it has been known that ephedra resulted in the deaths of a handful of people. Products containing ephedra are dietary supplements that encourage weight loss, increase the body’s energy production, and enhance athletic performance.

This positive impacts on the body are naturally pleasing to this age of health consciousness and promotion of well-being. In another study, Ibuprofen’s mark of deaths has reached to the hundreds of thousands. Ibuprofen is primarily used as a drug for relief of several ailments such as arthritis, primary dysmenorrhoea, fever, and as an analgesic for ailments with an inflammatory component. But being so and more importantly with the present information from science and the public, why not protect the public from dangerous pharmaceuticals at the same time?

The answer lies within the profit margin that would be made if these products are to be continually sold. In any company, profits must be protected first. In the world of medicine, it’s profits first, and customers second. The only substances under intense investigation and investigative analysis by the FDA are those that threaten the profits of the drug companies. And this brings us to the real mission of the FDA: to protect drug company profits, not the health of the public (Prescription drugs kill thousands of times as many people as ephedra, 2003).

On the other hand, OTC drugs are not being banned outright because of the way they can deliver instantaneous healing to a majority of sickness encountered by people. As what was mentioned above, this makes for a very troublesome situation as OTC drugs need to be easily accessible in order to be effective however it runs the risk of being a drug that can be easily abused. In another study, it was stated that prescription drugs are the cause of drug abuse among American teenagers, according to a report released yesterday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

Prescription drug abuse among Americans nearly doubled with 7. 8 million in 1992 to 15. 1 million in 2003, according to the report. When compared to illegal drugs, prescription-drug abuse was found to be more widespread as compared to illegal drugs, which numbered 12. 3 million in 2003. Partly to blame for the increase is the capacity of practically anyone to purchase prescription drugs over the Internet. Prescription and OTC drugs are sold at practically every selling point. As the internet has become almost part of daily life, the purchase of drugs over the net eventually had to follow.

Being able to purchase drugs over the net increases the effectiveness of the drug in delivering immediate cures to any kind of sickness. More so to the youth that are prone to sickness. On the other hand, the youth have access to these drugs at practically any selling point – supermarkets, hospitals, side stores, and even at home. In 2004, the research firm Beau Dietl & Associates found that only 6 % of sites selling prescription drugs ever needed a prescription from the buyer (“Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse,” 2004). The number of prescription drug abuser between ages 12 to 17 had increased by 212 % in the 11 years as stated in the study.

It has also been stated that for many children nowadays see the family medicine cabinet has a greater temptation as compared to illegal street drugs. But in 2002, controlled prescription drugs were responsible for 29. 9 % of drug-related emergency-room deaths. On the other hand, illegal drugs such as heroin and other illegal drugs only contributed to 27. 8% of drug-related deaths. The current culture has created “pharming parties” where teenagers bring prescription drugs and trade or share in order for the youth to get high.

Lastly, in order to curb this surging increase in deaths caused by prescription drugs, parents being more aware of their children’s activities. Doctors also are required to be more aware of patients who just fake the symptoms that might lead to addictive drugs and engage According to the study conducted by CASA, 43. 3 % of American physicians are not concerned about prescription-drug abuse when discussing a patient’s medical history. Approximately, one-third of physicians do not regularly obtain records from previous doctors before prescribing controlled drugs (“Study Finds More Teens,” 2005, p.

A06). In conclusion, this paper argues that drugs, when used properly, can lend cure to many diseases. Prescription and OTC drugs are critical for delivering instantaneous healing to people. It has already been proven that these drugs are effective and that in a world where time has become so valuable, prescription and OTC drugs have become more and more invaluable to people. However, when abused, they may be deleterious to health. Anything that is not part of the natural physiology of our body can have detrimental effects to the body.

In reality, death by prescription and OTC drugs is just one of the things that addicts can expect from drug abuse. Addicts can even encounter an augmentation in their ailments, additional sickness not seen before and even cause gene abnormality and permanent damage that can be passed on to their next of kin. In the end, this issue redounds to self-control and choice of the drug user. What is important is being able to identify what is necessary in order to cure the ailment and what is too much that borders around addiction. REFERENCES

1. Prescription drugs kill thousands of times as many people as ephedra. (2003). Retrieved April 24, 2007 from http://www. newstarget. com/z000480. html 2. Study Finds More Teens Are Abusing Prescription Drugs; Levels Surpass Illicit Drug Use. (2005, July 8). The Washington Times, p. A06. 3. Consumer Advisory (2004). Retrieved April 24, 2007 from http://nccam. nih. gov/health/alerts/ephedra/consumeradvisory. htm 4. Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse. (2004). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed. ). New York: Columbia University Press.