Today’s society seems to rely on a pill or medication for everything, with many doctors quick to write a prescription to get their patients out the door. Everything from acne, anxiety, mood swings, constipation, mental decline and insomnia to Attention Deficit (ADD), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma and more is treated with medication instead of researching why the problem exists in the first place. Fixing the symptoms instead of fixing the underlying issue is what I call a “band-aid fix.”
Reasons like an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise, increased sugar and GMO consumption, reliance on man-made drugs, as well as sensitivities to foods and environmental toxins are often overlooked because they take too much time to pinpoint and change. It is faster and more convenient to pop another pill.
Today we are finding out just how dangerous these prescription drugs can be. Throughout the years it has been common for high school and college/university students to experiment with alcohol and drugs. The relaxed to euphoric feelings and reduction of negative emotions associated with their use is enticing. What the users often do not realize is that both alcohol and drugs depress the nervous and respiratory systems so too much of either can diminish that euphoric feeling or buzz pretty quickly.
The problem today lies within the type of drugs being used as well as the combination of drugs and alcohol. Painkillers such as Fentanyl and Percocet are a prevalent choice because they are readily prescribed, easy to get (often from household medicine cabinets) and result in a quick buzz.
- Fentanyl is an opiate, prescribed for moderate to severe pain (often for cancer patients) but is fifty to one hundred times more powerful than morphine, and up to forty times more powerful than heroin.
- Percocet is prescribed for mild to moderate pain, but in addition to the opiate oxycodone, Percocet contains acetaminophen (aka tylenol) which is toxic to the liver. Alcohol use alone causes liver stress and damage; adding Percocet to the mix can cause complete liver failure, coma, and death.
If the availability of stronger drugs isn’t enough of a problem, counterfeit drugs such as Fentanyl-laced Xanax are popping up in communities everywhere adding unknown lethal chemical compounds in unknown doses to the mixture. These synthetic versions, often produced in China, shipped to Mexico then smuggled into the USA and Canada, are readily available in large amounts on our streets. They are causing a rampant amount of overdoses causing liver and respiratory failure and often leading to death.
Here in Kanata, a local dad is bravely speaking out about his own struggles with his daughter’s addiction. Going a step further, he is organizing meetings for parents to talk about and find ways to deal with this growing nightmare. A local teen is speaking up too on the attraction and dangers of counterfeit drugs.
On a national level, perhaps some of the money raised recently (annually) through the Bell Let’s Talk could be set aside to remove the band-aid and get to the root of this problem with our youth.