Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals? | PBS NewsHour


Are you wondering if you are one of the many Americans that are struggling to live in the real world?


Here’s a short “reality checklist” that might help.


Answer “yes’ or “no”


* Do you carry a loaded gun to church on Sunday?

* Do you believe the US government is a threat to your freedom?

* Do you consider loud music a threat to your life?

* Is the word Muslim just another word for terrorist?

* Would you kill someone who threatened you with popcorn?

* Do you believe cable news is real news?

* Do you believe reality TV is real?

* Do you believe good people need a gun to defend themselves against bad people?

* Can you tell the difference between good and bad people?

* Do you believe dark skinned people in hoodies are dangerous?

* Do you believe in evolution?

* Do you believe Iraq had WMD?

* Do you believe Obama is a muslim?

* Do you believe school teachers should be armed?

* Do you believe shopping centers are dangerous?

* Do you use medication to fall asleep?

* Do you use medication for anxiety?

* Do you believe every American should own a gun?

* Do you need more than 2 guns for self-defense?


It might be helpful to know that a large number of Americans suffer from at least 3 (if not more) mental illnesses;


1) Neurosis (Anxiety Disorder) 
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.People with the disorder, which is also referred to as GAD, experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. 

2) Psychosis 

Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality that usually includes:
False beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions)
Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)

3) Dillusional/paranoia 

Paranoid personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of distrust and suspicion of others, but does not have a full-blown psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. Persons with paranoid personality disorder are very suspicious of other people. As a result, they severely limit their social lives. They often feel that they are in danger and look for evidence to support their suspicions. They have trouble seeing that their distrustfulness is out of proportion to their environment.


This is born out by looking at the number of Americans who are prescribed anti psychotic medications,


Anxiety and anxiety related conditions negatively impact individuals, and our society:
40 million people in the U.S. will experience an impairment because of an anxiety condition this year.
Only 4 million will receive treatment, and of those, only 400,000 will receive proper treatment.
Those who experience anxiety and stress have a very high propensity for drug abuse and addictions.

Further statistics show:
65% of North Americans take prescription medications daily, 43% take mood altering prescriptions regularly.
There were over 3.3 Billion prescriptions filled in America in 2002 (12 times the U.S’s population – that’s 12 prescriptions for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. that year).
Paxil and Zoloft (two of the more popular anti-anxiety medications) ranked 7th and 8th in the top ten prescribed medications in the US (these two medications totaled almost $5 Billion in sales in 2002).

1 in 5 Americans on psyhtropic medication

The use of psychotropic drugs by adult Americans increased 22 percent from 2001 to 2010, with one in five adults now taking at least one psychotropic medication, according to industry data. In 2010, Americans spent more than $16 billion on antipsychotics, $11 billion on antidepressants and $7 billion for drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The rapid growth of all three classes of drugs has alarmed some mental health professionals, who are concerned about the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs by elderly nursing home residents and the prescription of stimulants to children who may have been misdiagnosed with ADHD.

Americans live in a sedated state of mind

Americans now spend over $750 million annually on over-the-counter sleep aids, and over $2 billion annually on prescription sleeping pills. This is a 23 percent increase since 2006 and a 60 percent increase since 2000. Medical experts and sociologists wonder if widespread insomnia has become a “cultural benchmark,” the most obvious symptom of an exhausted, anxious society.


Illicit Drug Use

Illicit drug use in America has been increasing. In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 9.2 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month. This is up from 8.3 percent in 2002.
If we are to believe that the USA is #1 Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious society the world has ever known how can we reconcile that with the reality that we live in constant state of anxiety and fear and spend billions of dollars trying to cope with an imaginary world we believe to be real?
What’s of even greater concern is that we are passing these “crazy-making” beliefs on to the next generation who stand to inherit the worse of what we have to offer as a society. For example, children as young as 3 years old are being trained on the use of assault weapons by their parents. Even Hitler waited a few years longer to brainwash the youth and history shows how that ended.
Unfortunately we live in a culture that values money and profits above almost all else. And, as cultures of old we admire and some would say even worship the people who have become rich, powerful, and to some heroic playing on our fears and weaknesses. The gun industry, the defense industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the cable media industry; all focused on keeping you neurotic, psychotic, and paranoid.
Time to wake up folks!


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