(NaturalHealth365) Physicians are to do no harm – right? Yet, as the abuse of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket, many are left wondering why some doctors seem to be habitually overprescribing prescription drugs for their patients. Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled in number, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Yet, the amount of pain reported by Americans has remained unchanged during the same time period.
That is a concern that has been mostly brushed aside by the conventional medical establishment. That is until recently, when a California doctor’s reckless prescription methods – which had resulted in several deaths from overdose – were revealed to be driven by personal financial gain. The result? A murder conviction and 30 years to life.
Patients become pawns in drive for medical profits
Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, a Los Angeles County physician, was found guilty in February 2016 of second-degree murder after it was revealed that at least three patients under her care had died due to prescription drug overdose. Tseng carries the dubious distinction of being the only doctor in the country to be successfully tried and convicted of murder in the U.S. for overprescribing drugs, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Niedermann, the lead prosecutor on the case.
But while Tseng remains lone in her conviction, there has been a steady flow of similar cases across the nation in the last few years. Some involve allegedly corrupt physicians standing to gain financially from criminal “pill mills,” while others – like Tseng – simply grew greedy and abandoned their obligation to patient care. In September, a Florida physician was acquitted of first-degree murder.
Just as the amount of pain killers prescribed has quadrupled since 1999, so have the number of deaths attributed to prescription drug overdose, according to the CDC. This is no coincidence. Every day, 44 people in the U.S. die as a result of prescription painkiller overdose.
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Big profits for big pharma at the expense of human suffering
A vast majority of the adult population in the U.S. reports experiencing some pain, often in the back. Over 1.5 billion people are affected by chronic pain. The total cost to society is a staggering $560 – $635 billion every year. This amounts to about $2,000 for everyone living in the U.S. So, it’s no surprise that big pharma continues to market heavily to physicians.
As an example, in its first year on the market, the pain reliever oxycontin accounted for about $45 million in sales. A mere 10 years later, and that figure would bloat to $3.1 billion. During that time span, the drug’s manufacturer executed an expansive marketing plan targeting physicians.
Conventional medicine continues to push highly addictive medications, like oxycodone or hydrocodone for symptoms of pain, yet rarely takes a look at the underlying cause of pain. Driven by profits, heavy marketing by big pharma to physicians can erode pathways toward cures and replace them with methods for masking symptoms, all while contributing to an already-wealthy pharmaceutical industry. In recent years, federal authorities have gone after so-called “pill mills,” manufacturers and distributors of pain killers like oxycodone, sometimes operated by physicians themselves or traced to big pharma.
Safer alternatives for managing pain and avoiding drug addiction
Pain medication abuse and overdose almost always begins with an actual need for pain relief. The safest route to preventing an addiction to prescription pain medications, and further lining the pockets of big pharma or unscrupulous doctors, is to avoid these medications from the start. Even over-the-counter pain remedies can have dire consequences. Here’s the good news: There are safe, more effective ways to eliminate pain symptoms.
Pain is perceived in the brain. There are proven techniques as well as natural remedies for calming the central nervous system and developing new pathways within the nervous system that can help diminish and even eliminate pain. For example, essential oils affect the brain by entering the bloodstream and causing a pain-relieving effect within the nervous system. These natural, yet effective, methods of pain relief can help you avoid the use of pain relievers, yet manage your pain.
Of course, an anti-inflammatory diet – which eliminate excess sugar, processed foods and toxic (overheated) oils and fats will dramatically reduce your need for prescription drugs.
And, finally, let’s not forget the value of moderate levels of exercise. In fact, a 20 – 30 minute walk (as many days / week, as possible) plus 5 – 10 minutes of stretching – every day can go a long way toward avoiding unwanted pain and drug dependency.
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