Are We a Nation of Pill Poppers?
A recent inquiry has shown that Australia is fast becoming a nation of pill-poppers, consuming more than 40 million pills a day. This $14.2 billion a year habit begs the question of whether we rely too heavily on pills to achieve better health. With safe, natural medicine only making up $4 billion of this total, it’s becoming obvious that Australians are turning to prescription drugs for a quick fix – an act that could be very dangerous for many people. Every year in Australia, 196 million prescriptions for subsidised medicines are filled each year, and we are also buying a further 300 million packs of headache pills, vitamins and complementary medicines. A recent inquiry found that the number of pills used increased 37 per cent in the past 17 years. In 1993, Australians used 6.38 scripts a year on average. Today the figure is 8.9 scripts.
Australian Medical Association vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton said the ageing population, new medicines and a growth in chronic disease had driven the increasing use of medicine. “There has been an explosion in the number of people who are diabetic. When you’re diagnosed as diabetic, you go from no pills to four pills overnight,” he said. But he said advertising of medicines to treat smoking and diabetes was also driving demand. “There is pressure on doctors to prescribe something,” Dr Hambleton said.
Even children are dependent on medicines. It has been found that in 2007-2008, almost 10,000 were prescribed anti-psychotic medication. This extreme reliance on pills isn’t fully funded by the government either – each year we are spending $6.5 billion on medicines – on average, that’s around $300.00 a year each.
The Spinal Centre Comment:
It’s no secret that Australia’s reliance on prescription drugs has increased dramatically over the past few years. We have ‘a pill for every ill’. Got a sniffle? Grab some Sudafed. Got an ache? Grab some Panadol. Want to lose some weight? Grab some FatBlaster. We seem to rather rely on pills than lifestyle to maintain our health. Now, there is not disputing that in some cases, prescription medicine has it’s place. It’s the flippant swallowing of paracetamol, anti-inflammatories and pain-killers that is the real worry. We experience pain and inflammation for good reason – it’s our body telling us that something is wrong. So instead of listening to our body and addressing the source of the pain, most of us will reach for the Panadol straight away. It is this habit that we must get out of. Despite the enormous cost, the amount of medicine purchased seems to soar. It’s time to change the habit before it’s too late.
Natural medicines represented only $4 billion of the total. This is great news, with more than two-thirds of Australians using natural medicine, but it does put into question the quality of the natural medicines being purchased. Avoid inferior products. Though the 1000-capsule fish oil from the chemist may seem like great value, or the 2 kg Magnesium powder seems like a steal – they aren’t. Many ‘bargain’ products
contain inferior quality ingredients, contaminated sources or even the wrong form of the vitamin or mineral.
When you purchase top-quality practitioner-only natural medicine, not only are you investing in a premium quality product, you can also be sure that there is a lot of research, study and clinical application that has gone into each and every formula.
What else can I do?
- You don’t have to let your chronic pain or inflammation go untreated. The Spinal Centre Online Consultation will help to identify key areas of your health that need addressing, and the report will prescribe exact natural medicines to help ease your complaint. Save your money – and time by investing in this beneficial consultation.
- Chronically inflamed? If you suffer from chronic inflammation, you know of the pain and discomfort that can come with this condition.
- Muscle pain? Legs cramping? Waking up sore? Chances are that you are experiencing a magnesium deficiency.
- Wanting to lose a bit of weight? Instead of turning to gimmicky products, go back to basics. The only natural and effective way to lose weight and keep it off for good is old-fashioned healthy eating and exercise. Read The Stretching and Exercise Handbook for a back-to-basics exercise program.
- You are what you eat. So if you eat junk, chances are you’ll feel like junk too. Fatty, salty and high-calorie foods aren’t only bad for
you – they’re contributing to your pain and inflammation levels. Cut
out the junk food, and fill up on fresh vegies, fruit, lean meats, legumes and fish instead. Read Health Promoting Nutrition for a great eating plan and diet guide.
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If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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