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Monday, August 10, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Pharmacy (from 2004)

Let me start this article by reminding you where I stand on the issue of drugs: hate ‘em. It is my belief that many of the health problems that we have today have a root cause from the pharmacal industry. Is it money? Is it human nature to want to help find a better way? Who knows. The fact is that this country is out of control. A pill for every ill. We are going to drug ourselves into oblivion if we do not do something. Today. There are some of us who realize this and are trying to change things. We’re losing the battle and the war.

I went to visit my mom out of state this year for Thanksgiving. While I do love my mom to death and think she is a wonderful person she really doesn’t see things the way I do. She thinks drugs are the answer for everything. Again, a pill for every ill. Great.

My mom doesn’t have a 9 to 5 job, per say. Her job is 24/7. She is a foster mom with various children of all ages staying with her for weeks, months or years. Most of these kids are taken out of homes of out of control, drug addicted, neglectful parents. To hear some of her stories is sickening. Two and three year old kids wandering around town looking for food, 5 year olds eating candy for dinner while the parent sleeps. Yeah, sick stuff. Thankfully my mom offers a safe and loving home for these kids. A life they certainly didn’t have. On the surface this is great. Unfortunately our government and the pharmaceutical industry has to weigh in on these kids. If the government is involved then the drugs are not far behind.

There are currently 7 people living in my moms home. My brothers are 22 and 19 and my baby sister is 15. The 3 foster kids are 16, 6 and 5. My mom is the 7th person living in the house that I’ve nicknamed "The Pharmacy".

I already mentioned that the kids were taken out of some pretty ugly situations. Abuse and neglect, drugs and alcohol. You name it. To say the least these three kids had some emotional issues. What really bothered me was that these kids were taken out of neglectful situations yet they were all on drugs. All of them. Why? I did pose this question to my mother and received the answer I anticipated. Apparently these kids were out of control. Violent, emotional, crazy stuff. Temper-tantrums, stealing and uncontrolled behavior abound. Drug ‘em.

Now I know what your thinking. Four year olds need psych drugs to be kept under control. What 5 year old isn’t a little depressed and anxious? Aren’t most kids with ADHD or ADD on some sort of drugs? Newsflash: ADHD and ADD do not exist. See chapter "ADD: A Designer Disease". OK, maybe you weren’t thinking that.

True, a violent 4 or 5 year old needs to be controlled. My mom told me about the older brother of the 5 year old with her now. Jerome was so violent when he was in their home that my family actually feared for their lives. This 7 year old actually threatened to kill my mom and brothers. Yeah, that kid need to be controlled. But, with drugs? No way. How about his little sister Tanya who, at age 5, has no front teeth because she lived off junk food since birth. (Heck, since before birth) How do you control out of control kids? Do you NEED to control them? Depends on the kid. I don’t believe that drugs should be the first line of defense. How about limiting, oh I don’t know, SUGAR maybe.

I did suggest to my mom that maybe the diets of these kids needed to be analyzed. She assured me that the diet of said youngsters was very good and that they rarely had sugar. Huh. A little investigations by me proved otherwise. In the cabinets was "flavored" oatmeal, sugar cereals, maple "flavored" syrup, Jiff Peanut Butter, name brand jelly, white bread and snacks galore. In the fridge soda, cow’s milk and processed cheese. Oh yeah, popsicles in the freezer. The evidence of nutrient deficiency was all over little Tanya’s mouth. What causes a 4 year old to lose all her teeth anyway? Is a healthy diet going to cure these kids of anger and anxiety issues? Maybe, maybe not. Isn’t it a better way to go then drugging the hell out of toddlers?

I mentioned the government earlier. What’s wrong with government? I mean, the state saved them from broken homes, right? True enough. What do you suppose happened next? Yep, doctors check ups and, drum roll please... vaccinations. It is a safe bet to assume that these kids were not "up to date" on their baby shots. After a couple of visits with the doctors I’m sure these kids will never get mumps, measles or the dreaded diphtheria. I am certainly making assumptions here. But if I’m right and these foster children got pumped full of vaccines the shots ARE causing more harm than good. See

Vaccines are a whole separate issue that I don’t want to get into here. Do some research. You’ll see. Think autism and neurological disorders.

OK, shall we review? We’ve got 5 and 6 year old kids who started off life on the wrong foot. The mothers ate crappy foods that damaged their babies developing systems, then poured in lots of alcohol and a few other unsavory substances. The kids are then abused, neglected and malnourished. When being "saved" what do you suppose they need? How about a little love, affection, exercise and an apple. Or a banana. A cucumber? Nope. Drugs.

Am I wrong?

No, I’m not stupid and I’m not being naive. I know these kids were crazy and out of control. I would be too. Maybe drugs are a good place to start. But, my god, there has to be an end game and some caution. Welcome to the greatest health care system in the work. Let’s scare and then drug the hell out of the elderly and the children. The ones that are to scared or to young to know any different.

As if I wasn’t annoyed enough, there is more. One night while visiting my mom I engaged in a horrendous game of Monopoly. (read: I got my but kicked) At around 10pm my mom was informed that little Tanya has fallen asleep. My mom was downtrodden. She hadn’t had her sleeping pill yet! Horrors! Believe it or not my mom wanted to wake this child up to give her her sleeping pills under that auspice that she would wake up to early.

For the 45 minute drive to get a Christmas tree the 16 year old Sara needed dramamine.
My younger brother and sister both take antibiotics to combat the dreaded plague of acne. Hey, what causes acne anyway? Another subject, another day.

My mom is a walking pharmacy herself. I didn’t ask her about her chemical intake but my brother told me she takes 9 pills per day. Any drug to drug interactions? Again read "Killing Me Softly". Great, huh?

As we were getting ready to drive back to New Hampshire I made the offhand comment that my son had a little trouble behaving on the first trip. My mom offered some dramamine. I responding with the following, "I don’t drug my kids." She didn’t get it.

If you read the article about ADD on website you’ll understand my point about drugging kids. They’re kids! Wild and uncontrollable are common behaviors from kids that are on permanent crash and burn sugar highs. What if we drugged Albert Einstein or Bill Gates? Why can’t kids be who they are? The way we drug the our children and our elderly is disturbing. Disturbing. The trend has to stop.

The recent Vioxx scandal is a blessing in disguise. Merck, the maker of Vioxx knew long before 2004 that Vioxx increased the risk of heart attacks. Check out: . Now people are starting to take a look at other drugs and ask the questions the drug companies don’t want to hear. Can the conventional medicine system of drug first ask questions later be starting to crumble? I truly hope so.

While my Thanksgiving at the pharmacy was pleasant and fun, it was frustrating also. It is so sad to see that people actually think like my poor mother. People believe that drugs are the answer. A problem is a problem and is rarely "solved" with a drug. Symptoms are often masked or even eliminated but the problem still persists.

Four year olds that get ripped out of a broken home have serious emotional problems. Why deal with those problems when you can just give them a drug to keep them under control? Sickening. Why eat healthy when you can just take a drug to make things better. Sickening.

I really don’t blame my mother. She’s told by doctors, psychologists, sociologists and specialists that this is the way. She is then forced to administer and defend these drugs. It is a poor position that my mother is put in to. Sadly she believes that this is the way.

In the end of my articles I usually rant and rave about the poor and declining state of health in this country. Not today. Today I want you to think about how YOU can make a difference. Yes, you.

Question and research everything. Before you put anything in a childs body read about it first. Read articles, read books, do internet searches. Get both sides of the story! Don’t trust your doctors. They may be wrong! Don’t listen to adds on TV. Why do you suppose drug companies spend millions of dollars to put adds on TV for prescription drugs? Think about that for a second.
Keep the following foods out of your house: soda, candy, junk food (yeah, you know what junk food is), milk, soy, sugar, caffeine, bright colored cereal, maple "flavored" syrup, "fruit" (the 10% kind) juice, mayonnaise, white bread, white pasta. Lead by example! Get your kids exercise and feed them good foods! If they have a fever let them rest and give them plenty of water. Hey, isn’t that was parents did in the "old days"? Day care won’t take them if they’re sick? Take the day off. Kids won’t eat wheat bread? They will if that is the only kind of bread in the house. If you’re kids are young enough you can teach them to eat well because they will know what happens when they eat garbage. For god’s sake don’t immunize them. Read Robert Mendelson’s classic book "How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor".

What can my mom do? Any guesses? Survey says...I mean, what can she do? If I were her trainer I’d tell her to do the following:

1) Get some education. Drugs, nutrition, exercise. There are tons of sources that will provide boatloads of info that her doctors are not giving her. (See below.)

2) Eliminate the sugar food from her house. It’s a start. Replace with quality foods.

3) Have more fruits and vegetables around. The kids will eat them eventually. When they’re hungry enough.

4) Walk everyday. 60 minutes. It is a great place to start. Heck, even take the kids every so often. No time? Get a treadmill. Live on it. If my mom reduces her stress by having some alone time then it will give her more patience to deal with the crazy kids.

5) Look into getting herself off her boat loads of drugs. I’m sure her doctor has assured her that she needs all the drugs but I think her doctor is incorrect. Refer to #1: Education.

My actual recommendations to my mother would be much more comprehensive but his list is the starting point.

As my moms health and wellness improves she should then look into fighting for the rights of the children in her care to live a drug free life. We can’t follow the loudest voice with our heads in the sand forever. Let’s wake up. Today. Now.

All drugs are dangerous regardless of the desired results. All doctors and heath care "professionals" downplay the risks. It is a sad state.

I wrote this essay to illustrate my perspective on a problem. You may read this and think that it must be easy for me to be critical of situations that I am not in. True enough. I’m not in that situation. I do, however, have a rambunctious and energetic 5 year old in my house. We also have a 15 year old who has "ADHD". Oh wait, HAD ADHD. He’s OK now that we took him off the drugs. That’s right, stopping the drugs improved him dramatically. Funny, ah? The drugs that were supposed to help him actually set him back years. It’s sad actually.

No kid need drugs long term. No kid should have his emotions controlled because he had excess energy or under developed social skills. Why is no one looking out for these poor children? The doctors and drug companies are destroying another generation. When will the madness end? When? For the love of god, when.

"The Makers Diet" by Jordan Rubin
"Body by God" by Dr. Ben Lerner
"How to Raise a Healthy Kid in Spite of Your Doctor" by Dr. Robert Mendleson


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