The War on Health

Over 100 million people worldwide are on psychotropic medication. These drugs cause addiction, are linked to suicide and cause over 1000 deaths each month.

More and more, individual psychiatrists are admitting that there are no specific blood tests that can be used to diagnose conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, or any other mental health disorder. Any qualified therapist can diagnose depression after a series of meetings with a patient, or if they so choose, after just one meeting.

In the 1960s and 70s when lock-down mental institutions were coming under fire for inhumane conditions, rather than going through the expense of overhauling the system, the psychiatric community decided to develop drugs that could suppress the symptoms of mental and emotional problems and release the majority of mental patients from the asylums.

Today, many people who would have been held in psychiatric care are allowed to be among the public as long as they are medicated, and many people who ordinarily would never be are also on some form of psychiatric medication.

But how did this happen? In the early 1950s, psychiatry was a fringe practice- like chiropractic. Psychiatrists wanted to be on a par with medical doctors- they wanted to be considered fully fledged medical professionals. For that to happen, the people they helped had to be called ‘patients,’ and these ‘patients’ had to be viewed as diseased.

Before the end of the decade, it had become much less common for people in an emotional crisis- those going through a divorce, or having suffered a tragedy- to lean on the emotional support of family, the clergy, or even just talking with a medical doctor. Now, we do not discuss emotional distress with our friends and family- we go to psychiatrists and they give us drugs.

Disorders like clinical depression, ADHD, autism, OCD, and Aspergers were seldom encountered before the 1950s- if ever. Today, the psychotropic side of the pharmaceutical industry is worth $330 million. That’s a lot of cash for an industry that hasn’t got a cure for any disease it treats.

In order to push drugs, the psychiatric industry had to create the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM) first published in 1952). Within its pages are compendious lists of symptoms organized under many different disorders on which leading psychiatrists meet to agree upon.

Most of the industry leaders who are on the DSM panel have directly documented ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The DSM makes it possible to diagnose nearly any person with a mental, emotional, or chemical imbalance disorder. If for example, you report occasionally feeling sad and occasionally feeling very optimistic- you can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2008, 5.7 million Americans were diagnosed with as bipolar.

The number of available diagnoses is innumerable, but the number of available medications pales in comparison. For this reason, drugs have to be re-labeled and re-marketed for different purposes. When patent licenses run out on a given medication, pharmaceutical companies give it a new name, change the color of the pill and run a new marketing campaign for a new disorder. When the patent ran out for Prozac, the industry changed the color of the pill from blue to pink, called it Seroquel and prescribed it for the treatment of depression, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia.

The psychiatric side of the problem is just half of the issue, unfortunately. While the psychiatric community was making massive professional and financial gains by leveraging an alliance with the pharmaceutical industry- the medical community saw a need to remain competitive by introducing a wide variety of painkillers, known as opioids.

Today, addiction to powerful painkillers like Oxycodone and Fentanyl is a widespread epidemic. In 2013, over 200 million Americans had opioid prescriptions for pain management. In 2010 over 16,000 deaths from opioids were recorded. Today, overdose from these drugs is a growing cause of death with medical errors ranking as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Growing at parallel proportions is the problem of heroin addiction, as prescriptions for drugs like Vicodin are more expensive than street heroin, many people who are unable to work due to their injuries turn to the poppy extract, become hooked- and quickly find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system.

Is it a coincidence that the war on terror, which has given our troops access to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, should coincide with so many wounded soldiers developing an addiction to heroin via the means described above, or is it a part of a larger profit motive and a war on the vitality of the American population?

~ Conservative Zone


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