Selling Sweet Dreams

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he’s not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher ruin your body
Lord, he’ll leave your, he’ll leave your mind to scream
-Steppenwolf, 1968

Yesterday, while running errands, I had a rare opportunity to listen to something other than kids’ books-on-tape. Scanning radio stations, I landed on NPR running an investigative piece on what the addict of 2008 looks like. According to their findings, they’re not poor, underprivileged, uneducated, black or trailer-trash white. They’re quite the opposite, often our next-door neighbors, relatives or friends, sharing the same pew on Sundays.

According to the “guest” on NRP, they’ve often accumulated legal drugs via multiple prescriptions, or have tapped into an unused stash of someone else in their family who may not have used all their meds, all in an effort to self-medicate due to pain. Therefore, there needs to be a Call To Action – a community “dialogue”, if you will, that rallies people together, allowing for a “safe drop-off” for unused prescription medication because turning in “excessive” prescription medications which would “go a long way toward reducing the problem”.

I felt myself blinking in wonder, attempting to unravel their run-on thoughts, and hopefully, discern their key point. Fortunately, I was parked in the post office parking lot. Rapid blinking, feeling like a dumb deer stuck in the NPR headlights, a feeling I often have while listening to NRP, isn’t compatible with driving. Just when I was going to give up, they placed a caller On-Air who offered her a real view of addiction in 2008.

“Most people don’t know who the addicted people are. They didn’t know me – not until I became desperate,” she said. Now I was all ears. All writers should stay on strike because the good stuff isn’t scripted. “I was taking over 400 pills a week which wasn’t enough to control my pain, the result of an injury. I got myself into terrible legal trouble, which I don’t want to get into right now. Let’s just say, when I tried to find my own solutions, my life fell apart. My doctor didn’t know how to fix my problems and he didn’t know what else to do so he wrote a lot of prescriptions. I mean, a lot. But they didn’t work, so I felt like I had to help myself. Before I knew it, I had another title to add to my name. Not only was I a stay-at-home mother, a daughter, sister and friend, but for the rest of my life I would always be known as an addict.”

The story of how she became an “addict”, her life torn apart, was heart-wrenching. Insipidly, the NPR hosts expressed their hope she was “okay now and doing better?” The caller shared how her life was a daily battle to not use drugs and how she finally found a doctor who could help her – that she was living a life free from pain killers. “Good”, NPR lamely offered. “We’re glad you have someone who can help you. Thank you for calling and sharing”.

I thunked the dashboard saying, “Fools! Follow up! Catch the ball! There’s the story! Follow it! Go! Go!”.

How could it be, that a trusted family doctor would prescribe over 400 pills a week, knowing they were not helping. And how could it be that after destroying her life, she was living drug-free?

NPR was having none of THAT story. I flipped off the radio, letting them praise each other for yet another feel-good, typical liberal, non-profit solution having as little merit as their investigative abilities.

The caller’s story IS the story of 2008. Hers is the story of a broken western medical system. She didn’t become an addict because she met up with the “dealer” or “pusher” of Steppenwolf’s 1968 lyrics, stereotyped as being black, sporting a big ‘fro, bell-bottom pants and insanely-high heeled boots. Instead, she made an appointment, offered her insurance provider information, and drove to a well-appointed “professionals buildings” in which her doctor, typically white or increasing in New England, East Indian, was housed. Her pusher spent at least a dozen years in college and residency programs, wears a white lab coat and is cleanly shaven and coiffed, sporting a stethoscope around his neck, completing the “trust me” message.

The law of drug cartel economics is every dealer or pusher needs a supplier. Steppenwolf’s suppliers wore army fatigues, brandished machine guns and machetes as they went about the business of protecting their operations buried deep in the South American jungles. Today’s pusher and dealer of our medical system distribute little magic pills, made by pharmaceutical companies, relentless in their marketing and award campaigns. They’re known for hiring salespeople, based not on scientific knowledge, but instead on looks and cleavage. High-powered automatic weapons have been replaced with ball-point pens.

While many believe they owe a debt of gratitude to Big Pharma for extending lives, I find the lack of ethics and solid research of Big Pharma to be vile and repugnant. Their marketing ploys, pushing Gardisil, to girls as young as 9-years of age, “protecting” them against sexually-transmitted viruses makes them downright wicked. As if that weren’t bad enough, pharmaceutical drug over-dose deaths have doubled in the last 5 years.

Over the next few months, expect to see new marketing campaigns from Big Pharma, “Concerned by the increasingly negative public image of their industry, pharmaceutical companies are meeting with major public relations associations in a conference intended to plan public relations strategies for the coming months.”

In article published at Natural News , “the First Annual Pharmaceutical Public Relations Symposium is intended to ‘cover key issues and challenges [that drug] companies face in an industry that is under ongoing political and media scrutiny.’ Discussion topics at the one-day conference include “enhancing corporate reputation, social responsibility, issues management, measurement of PR activities and merger of acquisition public relations strategies. Participants include pharmaceutical giants Pfizer, Serono (owned by Merck) and Wyeth and public relations firms Cision, EXL Pharma, Feinstein Kean Healthcare and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).”

My view – Big Pharma can’t afford to do the right thing. That would mean unhooking millions of people from being dependent on their drugs. I totally agree with health advocate, Mike Adams who calls the conference a “Big Pharma spin camp…an event that, in my opinion, focuses on teaching marketing people how to lie to the public about the dangers of pharmaceuticals. It’s all a desperate effort to continue to deceive lawmakers, politicians and consumers about the harmful effects of pharmaceuticals and the complete lack of honest evidence showing their usefulness. Representatives from the FDA will also participate in the conference, and will give a speech entitled ‘Communicating More Effectively with the FDA.’ The FDA employees will tell pharmaceutical companies what to expect as the agency’s key priorities in 2008.”

Adams concludes: “The FDA’s key priorities are to promote drugs and outlaw or censor anything that competes with drugs.”

It’s about money. It’s about stockholders. It’s about greed.

  1. Simply: The Bottom Line


    Not about health, quality of life, fixing the problem, or not doing damage.

    Simply: The Bottom Line

    — Pam R.    Feb 19, 02:00 PM    #
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