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America - The Medication Nation

            American Society has become more accepting of taking prescription medication for illnesses that, in the past, were dealt with without medication. The trend is growing toward acceptance of taking drugs for issues such as hyperactivity, depression and anxiety. Doctors are prescribing a wide range of medications and are prescribing them more frequently and without first using non-medication alternatives. Medications can have side effects that may lead to other health issues in the future. In the article "Medicating Ourselves" Robyn Sarah describes how differently hyperactivity is dealt with in today's society. When Sarah was in school a boy who misbehaved was labeled as a "bad boy" and was punished for his actions. Today, a child who acts out or does not follow the rules is recommended for treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The child may be prescribed a medication such as Ritalin to calm them down so they do not disrupt the classroom. Unfortunately the medication may mask other issues that the child may be dealing with. Sarah suggests that it would be better to first determine the root cause of the problem and that it may be better to correct the cause without medication. Counseling, exercise and discipline are alternatives to medication that are often bypassed in favor of a quicker cure such as pills.
             Depression is another issue that is commonly treated with prescriptions. It is not unusual for individuals going through life changes to seek prescriptions to help them get through difficult times. Sarah points out that psychic pain may be a sign that individuals should use to reorganize or rebuild relationships. Taking medication to make it easier to deal with difficulties does not eliminate the problem. Medication simply makes tolerating the problem easier because it numbs the senses. Although it may seem like a miracle cure, feeling less emotion does not empower individuals with the tools necessary to deal with problems in the future.

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