The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

Legal Drugs: Time to “Just Say No”

24

They’re dangerous, even deadly, but hugely profitable. Big Pharma has bought politicians and doctors. Only the American public can stop it by refusing the product. Action Alert!

Most people are understandably afraid to say no. They don’t know enough about medicine. We understand. We aren’t doctors and never offer medical advice. But the Internet has put most medical research at your doorstep, including information about drug side effects and risks. And there are integrative doctors who can offer sound advice on the subject.

Are we as a society addicted to legal drugs? Are we also wasting huge amounts of money on substances that all too often offer more harm than benefit? Let’s consider these numbers:

  • 60% of Americans take one or more prescription drugs.
  • 15% of Americans take five or more prescription drugs. Some, many more. There are no studies on the interaction of all these drugs.
  • 10% of Americans take an antidepressant medication; for women in their 40s and 50s, it’s 25%.
  • 25% of Americans over the age of 45 take a statin drug, despite much evidence of harm, including promoting diabetes.
  • Doctors write about 6 million prescriptions for proton-pump inhibitors (a class of acid blocking drugs) each year, making these drugs the third highest selling class of drugs on the market. This is happening although logic and evidence suggest that most people, especially older people, suffer from too little stomach acid, not too much.

Statins and acid blockers only begin to describe the problems.

A recent study found that elderly patients were able to reduce their risk of death by 38%. How? By “de-prescribing”—reducing the number of prescription drugs they were taking.

Properly prescribed prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the country; they cause an estimated 1.9 million hospitalizations a year and 128,000 deaths. Another 840,000 hospitalized patients are given drugs that cause serious adverse reactions. These are just hospital numbers. And even in hospitals, there is reason to believe that most of the injury from drugs is hard to isolate and therefore not reported.

Even if a drug does not kill or hospitalize us, there can still be serious side effects. One study found that adverse drug effects reported to the FDA more than doubled in the last decade—and these figures are based on voluntary reports. Some researchers estimate that fewer than 10% of adverse events are actually reported.

Another risk to taking prescription drugs: they often deplete the body of nutrients. This is a serious issue. Last week, we reported that the US Department of Agriculture estimates that 90% of the American public is deficient in at least one nutrient; it is common to be severely deficient in many. Magnesium is an essential co-factor with more than 300 different enzymes regulating different processes throughout the body. If magnesium is scarce, it may be routed to the heart, where it is especially needed, and other parts of the body suffer over time. Or it may even be inadequate in the heart.

Another example is vitamin D. A number of drugs can interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin D, including antacids, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals (AIDS drugs), and some antibiotics. A meta-analysis found that those with what conventional medicine considers low vitamin D in the blood and integrative doctors consider very low (lower than 30 ng/ml) were twice as likely to die prematurely from all causes. As much as two-thirds of the US population may be below that level (David Williams, Alternatives Newsletter, September 2014).

The list goes on. COX-2 inhibitor drugs, which include some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin), reduce vitamin B6 levels in the body. This is in addition to the risk they present for internal bleeding and other medical complications. For further information, Dr. Julian Whitaker has a helpful reference chart explaining which drugs deplete the body of which nutrients.

The irony is that many doctors prescribing multiple drugs to their patients will advise them NOT to take a vitamin or mineral supplement while on the drug, when in fact the need for supplements is increased.

There are more reasons to wonder about these drugs. Unlike natural treatments, which give your body the nutrients it needs to heal itself, they directly interfere and force biological outcomes. This is bound to produce unintended consequences.

In addition, virtually all drugs are chlorine-based, but little or no research has explored whether this in itself is a risk. While a tiny amount of chlorine is natural to the body, higher amounts are toxic.  The effects of ingesting, breathing and absorbing this chemical on a daily basis, as Americans do, are largely unknown.

Keep in mind also that 80% of the prescription drugs consumed in the US come from China or India. While drugs made overseas must theoretically meet US standards, in reality, widespread quality issues abound.

Think of the irony here. The prescription pill that costs a few pennies to make but sells for hundreds of dollars is made in China to save another penny. Does this make sense?

Because the FDA was so deficient in inspecting foreign drug manufacturers, a law was passed in 2012 that requires the agency to inspect foreign pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities as frequently as domestic facilities. But the numbers don’t add up. India and China each have about 500 drug manufacturing plants registered with the FDA. The FDA has nineteen staff members in India, and is working on increasing the number of inspectors in China from eight to twenty-seven.

A report by the Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the agency was not able to meet the legal requirements. Before the 2012 law was passed, the Government Accountability Office found that the FDA inspected 11% of foreign drug facilities in FY 2009, noting that at such a rate, it would take the agency more than nine years to inspect these facilities just once. And who are the inspectors? How do we know that they have not been bought off?

Meanwhile the same FDA that is utterly failing to meet the inspection requirements demanded by law has issued proposed rules on new supplements which cannot possibly be implemented without huge additions to staff, and which will also cripple and even destroy the supplement industry. Why is it doing this? The only reason we can think of is that the FDA is so beholden to the drug industry it is supposed to regulate, but which is actually providing much of its funding.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and the FDA, urging them NOT to move forward with the NDI guidance Please send your message immediately.

Take-Action

 

Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:

Not Diabetic? Take a Diabetes Drug Anyway!

Pink Drill Bits “For the Cure”?

 

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  • starlight

    Smoke pot. The only herbal medicine that works and is safe. No one has EVER died from cannabis. We are so f’ing stupid to not be using this drug. Screw Pharma… they are the killers. Never take a drug that hasn’t been on the market for 10 years. Maybe then it won’t kill you.

    • patgo

      Lots of people have been killed by people driving while high on pot.

      • Mike G

        You might want to look at actual data on this, as you are wrong. In such cases, there are always other drugs involved, most commonly alcohol. Recent studies have shown that Cannabis has no effect on driving skills and reaction time, unlike alcohol. Again, look at Colorado’s stats, they support what I am saying.

        • patgo

          They won’t let me post links here. Suffice it to say, I supplied plenty of links to information that show that marijuana has caused highway deaths, that these double when it is legalized, and that children are being sent to the hospital and killed by marijuana laced candy. If you are unaware of this, you are the person who needs to look at the data. Having had personal experiences in several ways with marijuana, I can attest to how destructive it is.

          • Mike G

            As I said, you need to look more closely at the data, for a couple reasons. There is not one single death, directly linked to cannabis ingestion. Not a single one. It is effectively impossible to overdose on cannabis to the point that death would be the result. There are zero instances of this, period. Secondly, the way they test for cannabis, it is impossible to determine if someone was actually “under the influence”. The levels would be the same if they had just smoked, or if they had smoked a week before, or even a month before. They also fail to report other substances in the body, such as alcohol or prescription drugs at the time of the accidents. Yes, there have been a couple deaths linked to edibles (not children, but teens….I can find no evidence of any child dying because of ingesting edibles, and laws have been changed to make these more difficult for children to get their hands on, also standardizing amounts of the active ingredient so people know what they are getting), though the cannabis was not the direct cause, suicide was, and in one case, the person under the influence shot his wife. Of course, we shouldn’t consider any other possibilities that may have been factors, because cannabis bad, right? So, here is the percentage of cannabis deaths based on use, 0.000003 % of users (again, none of these directly attributable to cannabis). A national tragedy, no doubt. Maybe go look at the percentages for alcohol and prescription medications (the number 4 killer in the US) and get back to me. I have had a great deal of personal experience with cannabis and a great many cannabis users, and have not seen one case of any of the issues you talk about (which, of course, doesn’t mean problems don’t occur, I certainly don’t deny that……but relative to every other psychoactive substance available, they are minuscule). The simple fact is, in a black market it is far easier for underage people to acquire illicit substances (certainly cannabis) than in a legal environment. The only reason a black market still exists is because in 90% of the US, it is still illegal for personal use (though 28 states now allow medical use, and only 4 allow recreational use).

          • patgo

            I don’t JUST care about deaths. Marijuana does all kinds of damage. I would say your own use is a problem, because it adversely affects your reason. And I think this is a good demonstration of it. The “facts” you are mentioning are false. You have to do careful research. The fact is, when you legalize marijuana, innocent people are the victims of aggression related to marijuana use. I myself have been a victim, as have several of my family members. I was tricked into eating marijuana-laced cookies. I was the designated driver, and I needed to drive us home. I was never so scared in all my life. My driving ability WAS impaired, and I knew it. But I had no choice. My short term memory was shot to heqq. My husband was forced to sit in a business meeting where someone chain smoked marijuana and he became high and had to drive home that way. One of our sons is adopted. His mother used marijuana. He was permanently brain damaged, and it has had serious consequences. I can sit next to someone drinking beer and I don’t become drunk. If I sit next to someone smoking marijuana, I will get high. If I get the tiniest whiff of marijuana smoke, I develop the grandfather of all splitting headaches. When marijuana is legal, I will be subjected to this much more often and will be confined to my home; won’t be able to go out in public. Who will do the grocery shopping? No one else is available. Even though smoking tobacco is illegal in public places throughout my state, I was still exposed to tobacco smoke last night. Marijuana is excreted into the water supply and gets into our drinking water (including babies) and into the fish, some of which I eat. I am just as adamantly opposed to pharmaceuticals, the vast majority of them. But although there are health reasons why people take them (even though they are invalid treatment), there is NO LEGITIMATE REASON for using recreational marijuana. And I sure hope nobody proposes using jimsonweed or locoweed for recreational purposes either. Some plants are simply harmful, and you need to leave them alone.

          • Mike G

            I am sorry to hear about your personal bad experiences. I have never encountered anything like that, but I certainly can’t deny your personal experience. Neither can I overcome your bias about the topic either. I have studied the data, and I have come to a different conclusion than you, as have a great many other people (and, of course, many obviously share your view). I have not used cannabis for many years, so I’m not sure it could still be affecting my reason, so that argument is invalid (and would be even if I was still using it). “Careful research” sounds like cherry picking data to me, at least based on your largely erroneous conclusions. However, as I said, I’m sorry to hear of your very bad experiences and I would not wish such things on anyone and whoever tricked you into eating cannabis laced brownies is a despicable human being. I would never condone covertly drugging anyone for any reason. As to the rest, we will simply have to leave it at disagreement.

          • patgo

            Thank you for your kind words. I offer my own experiences to illustrate several ways in which legalizing marijuana is effectively legalizing aggression. There are so many different ways that people can aggress with marijuana, and when it is legal, it is much more likely. And yes, it can cause permanent brain damage. I did look at a lot of different studies, but many media are also biased, so it is not possible to rely on them for valid conclusions. I can’t leave it at disagreement because of the aggression factor. It’s that simple. At the very least, consuming marijuana and then excreting into the sewers or ground is aggression, because that does get into the drinking water. Likewise pharmaceuticals and that is a major reason for outlawing most pharmaceuticals as well. My bias is based on study. As a person versed in Sonoran Desert herbs, I don’t like for ANY herb to be harmful. I wish I could claim that none are. It would make my job fighting pharmaceuticals much easier. But it is what it is. I have done deep study, so this is not some quick conclusion on my part. And in light of the fact that marijuana causes serious impairment of people’s studies at university, it affects the well being of our entire society. We ALL pay a price when marijuana is used.

          • Mike G

            Needless to say, we still disagree. There is zero evidence that cannabis does any “permanent brain damage”. Most evidence points in the opposite direction, at least with regards to recent unbiased studies that I’ve looked at. I find the notion that it causes “aggression” completely laughable as well. I will say this much, people who use more than just cannabis and/or alcohol tend to use a number of other, far more dangerous drugs that do damage the brain and do create aggression (something alcohol does in a fair number of people as well). Mixing psychoactive substances is never a good idea, and I think cannabis’ less intense and less harmful nature causes some people to not think about the synergistic effects of using more than one substance at a time. I’m not trying to suggest that it’s completely harmless either………burning organic matter creates carcinogenic compounds so there is obviously potential harm there (though a couple of studies show that compounds in the cannabis smoke actually suppress the effects of the carcinogenic compounds…..again, more quality research is need in this area, but not likely forthcoming due to the class 1 status of cannabis). There is also the mostly poorly researched possibility that for certain susceptible people cannabis could trigger psychotic breaks, or at least trigger them earlier than they would have happened otherwise. This is an area that needs further study. Unfortunately, as long as cannabis is considered a class 1 drug by the federal government, very little real research is going to be done. It’s not going away, as humans have made use of the plant for as long as there has been recorded history, and there is ample evidence it was used quite a long time before even that. If you want to have it be readily available to young people and to allow it to keep funding criminal enterprises, then by all means, keep it an illegal class 1 substance. I obviously agree with you about pharmaceuticals and the obvious notion that not all herbs are harmless (we also seem to only disagree about the extent of potential harm from cannabis….I think it’s trivial, you think it’s catastrophic). However, if we REALLY want to know all we can about it, at the very least it must be moved to a lower schedule to allow for easier access for quality scientific research to take place. Then we can clear up the myths that have been perpetuated about it since the 1930’s, and find out if what if any real harm it may possess.

            It’s probably also worth noting that in countries that legalized cannabis, use among ALL age groups declined dramatically within the first 5 years. In Holland, where it’s been decriminalized since the 1970’s, usage is a tiny fraction per capita of what it is in the USA, where it is (mostly) completely illegal. Youth rates are practically non-existent in both Holland a Portugal. Of course, these nations are not the USA and there are huge differences (like the fact that they legalized all at once, for the whole nation, while we are doing it piecemeal, allowing a black market to continue to flourish). I also don’t see how you can ignore the proven medicinal benefits of cannabis, that 28 states have acknowledged and many medical professionals and researchers have confirmed.

          • patgo

            This has devolved into a “he said, she said” kind of thing. Not very useful. It depends on whom you believe. There is a lot of conflict of interest, especially among marijuana advocates. The fact is, regardless of whether marijuana is good for medicinal purposes, this in no way provides evidence that people should use it for recreational purposes, or that it should be legal for recreational purposes. What pharmaceutical that people abuse is legalized for recreational purposes? We do agree that research needs to be done. It has been suggested that re-classifying it is necessary for this purpose. Maybe; I would consider it. But as for your claims that marijuana does no permanent damage, I HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THAT PROVES OTHERWISE. So taking the word of a stranger for this claim as you have apparently done, does not negate my personal evidence. The fact that other drugs might be involved and there will be synergistic effects cuts both ways. Eliminate the marijuana, and those other drugs will be less dangerous.

            The fact is, legalizing recreational marijuana will result in many, many situations in which the consequences of people using it irresponsibly will be visited on people who have not volunteered to suffer those consequences. It has already happened to me and family members, and it’s not even legal yet. And I flat-out do NOT BELIEVE that legalizing it results in fewer people using it. That doesn’t even make sense. We know that legalizing abortion caused at least a tenfold increase in the number of abortions done. Why would this be any different? Some people will actually obey the law, but would not be forewarned if there were no law, and would suffer the consequences.

            As for the black market, in the instances where legalizing it has reduced the same, the black market has now turned to peddling more serious drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc.) Shall we legalize those next? The same arguments would hold true, wouldn’t they? If recreational marijuana is ever legalized where I live, it will make my area UNINHABITABLE for me, and that is unacceptable. Don’t forget: we had to enact harsh laws to protect people from the thoughtless behavior of tobacco smokers. What makes you think marijuana smokers will be any more responsible? The very persuasion methodology being used by proponents says otherwise.

          • Bradford

            The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is THC. THC is NOT water soluble…..

          • Bradford

            Lady, you are seriously delusional. DELUSIONAL.
            You claim, “Marijauna is excreted into the water supply?….????….WTF?….
            And you trying to claim that cannabis use can cause “severe brain damage” in your adopted son, is just ridiculous.
            And, your husband was *FORCED* to “sit in a business meeting where someone chain smoked marijuana”….????…..
            I say, *YOU* *LIE*.
            If you want to provide FACTS, and DETAILS, I will gladly confirm your story, then apologize. But, until and unless you provide those facts & details, I say *YOU* LIE*, Lady…..

          • patgo

            What have YOU been smoking? I am under no obligation to provide the information you are demanding. The fact that marijuana can cause the kind of brain damage our son experienced is well documented. He also had failure to thrive, and I can trace that back to the same cause. The particular KIND of brain damage he experienced fits with marijuana, and I also experienced it to a limited degree when I was tricked into eating marijuana-laced cookies. I say that pharmaceutical drugs are excreted into the water supply. The mere fact THC is “not water soluble” doesn’t mean it won’t get excreted.
            The mere fact that I was tricked into ingesting marijuana is reason enough to keep it illegal. Otherwise, what kind of protection do I have against that kind of aggression?
            As for being forced to sit in a business meeting, what makes you think business meetings are voluntary? This is another example of the type of aggression for which we need a law.
            One final thing. Your accusation that I lie goes too far. If I BELIEVE what I am saying, there is the possibility I am mistaken. But I am not lying.
            As for children being killed, tell that to the emergency room personnel and the people who reported it. No, cannabis is NOT non-toxic. It wouldn’t have the psychoactive properties it does if it were non-toxic. It interferes with normal brain function. That’s toxicity.
            I don’t see why I should bother to talk to you, and this message isn’t for you. It is for the people who are reading your AGGRESSIVE comments. With people like you on the street, aggression is going to be serious, and the mere fact you are BEING so aggressive proves my point about marijuana causing aggression IN SOME CASES.
            Now I’m done with you. If you say anything more that is so outrageous, I may talk to the readers here, but I will no longer hold a conversation with a person who obviously has NO CLUE about civil discourse. Let the reader take note: this is the kind of behavior that the desire to legalize marijuana produces. If you don’t want that in your neighborhood, join me in supporting laws that give us legal recourse whenever we have been aggressed upon by marijuana users. Just keep in mind that forcing or tricking ANYONE into taking in a substance they do not want is, in and of itself, aggression. Keep in mind also that the accusation that a person is delusional CAN lead to government incarceration for a person who has never committed a crime, along with FORCED DRUGGING. I take such accusations very seriously. I have SEEN what the government can do to such people, and it is ugly.

          • Bradford

            OK, lady, you’re not “lying”, but you ARE psychotically delusional.
            (You’re also lying about your husband being “forced” to sit in a business meeting while somebody smoked cannabis. Cannabis DOES have strong effects on SOME people. It’s made YOU psychotically delusional. I bet you’d love Dutertes’ Phillipines about now….He’s killed several 1,000 drug users and dealers. Is THAT what you want? Seems so….
            May God have mercy on your soul, and may God grant you some peace of mind. You’re far, FAR beyond my help, lady….
            And, yes, I know about “forced drugging” by the government. It’s not pretty, but it’s the result of YOUR kind of delusional thinking…..

          • patgo

            Your statements are libelous, and I take libel very seriously. I have sued people for slander. You have no basis to make accusations against me that could result in my being incarcerated indefinitely by the government, even though I have committed no crime.

            To the reader: This kind of cruelty and defamation is a sample of what you can expect if you don’t go along with the agenda to trash your community with dangerous drugs and the people who use them.

          • Bradford

            Actually, my statements are NOT “libelous”. You’re NOT a lawyer or attorney, are you? ALL of my statements are copyright protected SATIRE and PARODY. There is no causal or actionable link between an anonymous person who posts comments online using the pseudonym “patgo”, and some OTHER anonymous person who posts as “Bradford”.
            So, you wanna “sue” me for “slander”? *BRING* *IT* *ON*, Lady! I’ll just have MY lawyer sue YOU for “tortious interference”, and being a “vexatious litigant”. And I’ll be laughing all the way to the BANK….
            And, as for the rest of your delusional screed:
            Please explain *HOW*, by and *WHAT* *MEANS*, are these comments going to result in YOU being “incarcerated indefinitely by the government”?
            It’s well-documented, “patgo”, that pharmaceuticals, taken exactly as prescribed, *KILL* well over 100,000 Americans per year. Rarely, if ever, does anybody even get arrested, much less tried and convicted, for these needless and wrongful deaths.
            And, cannabis is beyond question “good for medical purposes”. It was in the U.S. Pharmacopeia, until the “Marijauna Tax Stamp Act” of the 1930’s – enacted AFTER alcohol Prohibition ended. Cannabis is NOT illegal because it’s dangerous, rather, it’s “dangerous” because it’s illegal. Are you aware that HEROIN, for example, was first invented, and synthesized by the Bayer company of Germany in the 1880’s? That heroin was a patented, trademarked product sold LEGALLY in most U.S. pharmacies until the early 1900’s? You don’t know these FACTS, do you? My point is that you are a well-indoctrinated, poorly-educated, idiot. Me, I’m WORSE of an idiot. I’m actually wasting my time on you.
            But, like you, too, write, I’m doing this “for the reader”….
            Trust me, “patgo”, if you *DO* get taken away in handcuffs or a strait-jacket, it will NOT be because of anything that EITHER of us have written here….
            And, yes, your fears are valid. Last year, my friend, who is a traumatized rape/incest victim, was hauled off to the State loony bin, in handcuffs and shackles, in the back of a Sheriff’s cruiser. 3 days later, they sent her home in a taxicab…..Your real enemies are PhMRA and Wall St., not me…..
            (You are kinda entertaining. I hope you DO reply!)
            (c)2017, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction

          • patgo

            Sorry, but ad hominem attacks, especially vicious ones like yours, are neither legitimate satire nor parody. I am not as much of a fool as you are. I will not tell you what I know or don’t know. I will not continue the discussion. Reader: beware! Not everything he says is true. You’re safer disregarding all his facts.

          • Bradford

            *ROTFLMFAO*…………..
            LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL,…………
            ………..etc.,………..
            I’m really sorry, “patgo”, it’s my mistake.
            I thought you wanted to be taken seriously…..
            *ROTFLMFAO*

          • Bradford

            NO “children” have EVER been “killed” by “marijuana laced candy”….
            Please stop trying to spread BOGUS urban legends….*LIES*….
            Cannabis is NON-TOXIC….

      • Bradford

        If by “lots”, you mean “a few”, well, maybe. But, literally DOZENS of people have been KILLED by their Takada airbags exploding while driving….
        Your argument is pointless….

        • patgo

          That’s why I don’t have a car with an airbag in it. Next?

          • Bradford

            Yeah, and you don’t have a skull with a healthy brain in it, either….

    • Bruce Stewart

      I don’t breath smoke if I can avoid it, I don’t care where it comes from. Make all the excuses and justifications you want but the fact is pot is bad for your health.

      • Bradford

        It’s CANNABIS, not “pot”, or “marijuana”, which is a bogus, racist, made-up word…. And, you don’t have to smoke it. You can vape it, or consume it in any of several edible forms. And, while THC is the psychoactive group of chemicals in cannabis, CBD (cannabidiol) is the MEDICALLY active group of chemicals. They have PROVEN tumor-killing properties, that’s why PhRMA is so against medical cannabis. Um, which WAS LEGAL, until the 1930’s. Please educate yourself to the TRUTH….