I didn’t plan on blogging about the Las Vegas shooting. I felt just as bad about it as I did when 9/11 happened. As a matter of fact because of my depression I haven’t been able to blog about two school shootings that took place recently. Then I saw something claimed about the shooter, Stephen Paddock, that made my blood boil and I couldn’t remain silent on this.
Some online political rag, who I won’t link to because they don’t deserve the traffic, used the headline of “Stephen Paddock: Another Mass Shooter on Psychiatric Meds”. The rag linked to another article from the Las Vegas Journal Review, which in my opinion was very irresponsibly written. Basically both articles insinuate that since Paddock was prescribed Valium it led to the shooting. The article claims one of Valium’s side-effects is ‘aggressive behavior’. According to the Mayo Clinic, the side-effect should be more properly referred to as ‘outbursts of anger’ and it’s not that common.
Paddock was believed to have taken the drug at prescribed intervals and didn’t abuse the drug. So you’re going to tell me this so-called aggressive behavior caused by Valium, or diazepam if you will, resulted in Paddock inspecting three different possible locations for his rampage, amassing a stockpile of weapons over a number of years and meticulously planning his crime to include cameras outside of his hotel room? I don’t buy it. Not only that, but it’s bad journalism.
The Las Vegas Review shouldn’t even be trusted as a news source since it was taken over by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is rumored to have bought the paper so it would no longer criticize his business practices. Adelson was also a large donor to the Trump campaign so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Adelson, through the paper, is trying to turn the debate away from gun control to prescription drugs.
There are a group of people who are so opposed to antidepressants or any medicine used for the treatment of mental healthcare, they almost always attach it to whatever mass shooting may have just occurred. To my recollection this has been going on since at least Columbine, when it was made a big deal that one of the shooters was prescribed Luvox for depression. Never mind that the other shooter was on no such meds. That’s not even mentioning that these people will blame the drug if the shooter was either on or off of the drug they were prescribed.
The worst part is these people are further stigmatizing mental healthcare, something that doesn’t need any further stigmatization in this country. Not everyone on Valium is a potential mass murderer, they’re more likely trying to stave off a crippling anxiety attack. Furthermore, people on antidepressants are more than likely just trying to function normally in society and not plotting the mass execution of dozens.
I know no one asked but I’m going to tell you anyway. Do you know why prescription drugs are so expensive? It’s obviously not the research since so many drugs have side effects that are worse than the disease. I doubt it’s the ingredients either. The reason I think that the cost of prescription drugs are so high is the amount of promotion that pharmaceutical companies put into their products. I’m not even talking about the multi-million dollar commercials that you see on TV. I think those should be illegal but I digress.
The promotion that I’m talking about is the one that’s pitched to doctors and the medical community at large. Anybody who has ever worked at any kind of medical facility can tell tales of the onslaught of promotion that they receive from the drug companies.
First there’s the drug reps. These are ridiculously good-looking people whose sole purpose is to go to the doctors’ offices to try to get the doctors to use their drug. I imagine they have an equally ridiculous salary along with ridiculous travel expenses. If not I’m sure the drug companies are spending a lot of money creating these flawless people in their labs.
Then there’s the food. At some of the facilities I worked at drug reps would provide a catered lunch to the office staff at least once a week.
Most importantly there’s the toys. The drug reps come armed to the teeth with items branded with the drug’s name on it. Pen, pads, stress balls shaped like pills, stuffed toys that look like internal organs, clipboards, flashlights, frisbees, t-shirts, coffee mugs, tiny footballs, clocks, toy race cars, toy telescopes (that one actually came in handy), bouncy balls, bouncy balls that light up, pens that light up in different colors…well you get the idea.
So the next time you’re at the pharmacy and the fee for your prescription has gone up again just remember it’s because of a bunch of well fed medical employees with a lot of useless crap on their desks.
Accutane restrictions creating problems:
Dermatologists are complaining because restrictions have been put on the drug Accutane because of possible birth defects to babies if the drug is taken by pregnant women. They should be lucky that the drug is on the market at all. I was on this drug for years and let me tell you I’d rather have the worst acne in recorded history than the side effects of this drug. And it really didn’t do anything for my acne either.
So I’m watching TV with my wife and I see an ad for a pill that helps cure yeast infections. Now being a male I’ve never had a yeast infection but just by the name it doesn’t sound pleasant. Anyway, I thought that must be a real convenience to women. Then they announced the side effects to the pill which included nausea, headaches, etc. Usual crap like that. Then they mentioned in extreme cases it can cause severe allergic reactions, liver problems, and you shouldn’t use it while pregnant or nursing. Now this got me to thinking. When I was a teen I had an extreme case of acne, like I wasn’t already an outcast enough. And my dermatologist put me on this brand new pill at the time that was supposed to be some wonder drug. The side effects were worse than the disease. My lips became cracked to the point of incessant bleeding. I became hypersensitive to sunlight. And then I read the package which stated that if taken while trying to achieve conception in hopes of a baby the baby can be born with severe birth defects.
Now if you notice every time you see an ad on TV for some doctor prescribed medication for either allergies, or weight loss, or what have you, listen closely to the side effects. Some of the ones I’ve heard are just mind-boggling. Now what I want to know is why the Food and Drug Administration allows this. I have a theory. Want to hear it? Well you must if you’re still reading this. Here it is. The FDA is in the back pocket of the pharmaceutical companies. The drug companies are making money hand over fist on people’s suffering. But you may say that they are trying to find cures for diseases and I say to you my friend….”bullshit”. What major disease has been cured in the last part of the 20th century? Cancer? AIDS? Brittney Spears? None of the above. The closest we’ve come to curing an actual disease is impotency with the advent of Viagra. And I’m sorry as much as I love sex I’d rather be impotent than have cancer. The truth is that the drug companies are making more money treating the symptoms of disease than they would if they found a cure, and they know this. If cancer or AIDS was wiped out the losses for the drug companies would be in the billions if not trillions. And the FDA surely gets a cut of that money and as we all know in modern times money rules all.