America's Prescription Drug Epidemic: "Making Us Sicker"

Authored by Adam Taggart via,

Not only do we take too many drugs, they're making us sicker...

The United States has one of the highest rates in the world of prescription drug use, especially for the psychiatric and anti-anxiety drug classes:

  • 1 in 6 Americans takes a psychiatric drug

  • Over a 130,000 U.S. toddlers, children between zero and five years of age, are prescribed addictive anti-anxiety drugs including the wildly-addictive and difficult to stop using benzodiazepines

  • A very high proportion of the school shootings in the U.S. were committed by young adults on such drugs.

The benefits of these drugs are marketed to us daily, but what about the downsides? What about the side effects? More importantly, do they even work? What does  the data tell us?

To answer these questions, we talk this week with Robert Whitaker, an American Journalist and author who has won numerous awards as a journalist covering medicine and science. In 1998 he co-wrote a series on psychiatric research for the Boston Globe that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for public service. His first book, Mad in America, was named by Discover Magazine as one of the best science books of 2002 and his book Anatomy of an Epidemic won the 2010 investigative reporters and editor’s book award for best investigative journalism. He's also the publisher of

The irony is this. Before you go on an antidepressant, you have no known serotonergic deficiency with that system. But, once you go on and you have this drug that perturbs normal activity, it actually drives the brain into the very sub-serotonergic state hypothesized to cause depression in the first place.

This problem is called 'oppositional tolerance' within research circles. It means that basically what every psychiatric drug ultimately does is drive your brain in the opposite direction of what the drug is trying to do.

For example, anti-psychotics block dopamine function, but they do that by blocking the receptors in the post-synaptic neurons. Which made researchers hypothesize that maybe schizophrenia and psychosis is due to too much dopamine. While they didn’t find that in a matter of course in those disorders, once you’re on this drug, it will actually increase the density of your dopamine receptors.

So, conceptually, here’s the thing. We’re told these drugs fix known chemical imbalances in the brain. What science tells us is that we don’t know the biology of these disorders, the drugs perturb normal activity, and at the end of the compensatory process the drugs have induced the very abnormalities hypothesized to cause these disorders in the first place. That’s the scientific story(...)

The drugs may have efficacy in clinical trials over the short term (meaning they beat placebo in those studies ), but the evidence is overwhelming that over the long term the medications of *whatever* class of drugs does is increase the risk that a person will become chronically ill, functionally impaired, and end up on disability (...)

When we talk about drugs that worsen outcomes over the long term we are saying in the aggregate. In other words, you look at the spectrum of outcomes in the medicated group and you compare that the spectrum of outcomes in the unmedicated group in every study you can find the spectrum of outcomes are better in the unmedicated group.

Humans have a resilience within them and psychiatric disorders so often can be episodic in nature. I mean, that’s the natural course for most depressive episodes and including the majority of the first psychotic episodes and obviously with anxiety and these sort of things. So, one of the reasons you see that drugs have worsening outcomes in the aggregate because actually there’s such good natural recovery rates. That’s what lost from this conversation is what the capacity is to recovery from a depressive episode and anxiety episode and even psychotic episodes without drugs and with other support

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Robert Whitaker (45m:06s).


HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

Psychiatriy is fake science.  There are no blood tests.  Brain scans are not used for diagnostic purposes.  Anyone that gives a child this poison has no empathy.  Same goes for those that still administer ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy).  It isn't therapy.  It's experimentation and is equivalent to bashing in someone's skull and seeing if they can still walk.  If you did this to a dog everyone in town would be having fits and lock you in a cage.  Do it to a human?  No big deal.

ldd a Smudge by an… Tue, 05/01/2018 - 23:39 Permalink

the bondage that seems to have amercia by the balls is all encompassing. recent experiences illustrate the mentality of a nation and their path to the easy way out in all manners of forms. i have given up trying to source anything from the US. when i deal with people in other countries (primarily the EU) i get fast, responsive and very detailed replies to my questions and amazing service.

i have been trying to buy gear that is highly rated and sourced some good material and price from an american co. but the guy i had to deal with, the guy who would answer my requests for details with one short sentence email replies and the lack of any desire to resolve why the shipping cost would be in excess of the cost of the material to a ridiculous amount. hundreds of dollars of gear costing much more for shipping when everyone else can ship for less than 50 bucks.

this epidemic is self induced. everybody is either half asleep or half awake and working in slow mo at half speed.

In reply to by a Smudge by an…

Melway beepbop Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

Thing is, they give MD's the power to prescribe anything.  

MD's are nothing but trained bone-setters, at best, courted by Big Pharma.

A pharmacist has more chemical background and drug savvy than an MD with an Rx pad, but that's how backwards things are.

There is a certain percent of the population that benefits from the things that brain chemistry-altering drugs can do for them....people who were so severely neglected and abused as infants, who are NOT normal in any way, shape or form; individuals who come back from wars all effed up, who can't re-integrate into society without having an anxiety attack or who deal with major depression.

There are valid times to take medicine. 

However, medicines are used to correct behavioral issues that stem from home life, which is bad.

Parents don't raise children properly, and haven't for several generations.  Dad AND mom go off to work, and teachers or day care workers are the ones who wrangle and raise many kids in the US today.  Hence, many kids acquire behavioral problems that never correct even through adulthood.

At age 21, me and my husband found out our first baby was on the way.  I was part-way done with my master's research, as an undergraduate, and had a promising future, professionally.  However, family meant something to me, and still does.  I stayed home, full-time, and homeschooled my son.  

We now have 4 kids, a fifth on the way and all of them are more well-adjusted because I've taken the time to make sure they are different than the poor kids who are filtered through the public school systems and day care wards.  I don't even OWN a cell phone; my kids come first.  Always.  And when my husband of nearly 18 years comes home, they're fist to him too.  

People who have kids are responsible for raising them properly.  But they generally don't.  And use medicines to fix what they neglect to correct as parents. 

THAT'S what is causing the problem in this country.




In reply to by beepbop

Melway Melway Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

  The above paper states that patients do not have a "known" seratonin deficiency prior to being prescribed medicines.


This is sometimes true, but not always.

And it take someone with a high level of skill to know the difference between someone who needs an SSRI and someone who doesn't.

Most people DO not need neurologically-altering medicines; behavioral therapies take longer to work, but are more effective for the general population.  However, Americans are impatient, characteristically.  And sue happy.  So if the MD doesn't prescribe something that makes someone 'feel better,' the person with 'problems' just goes to someone else who is more willing to write out a script.  

Psychiatric drugs should be given out by psychiatrists only.  But anyone with an MD degree can dole them out, which contributes to the problem.  MD's rarely have ANY psychological training, let alone are aware of the problems associated with prescribing someone medicines that they don't need.  

More imbalances are created because of Rxs that are issues erroneously.  

Our society has behavioral problems that start at home, with their parents (lack there of, as the situation typically is).  MSM pushes these problems further, and social media is the icing on the mental health disaster cake.  But American's keep eating it cause it tastes good.

In reply to by Melway

HurricaneBrasky HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

1. You're not using the word empathy correctly.

2. Psych drugs are not the same as bashing in someone's skull. Control your emotion and your hyperbole. 

3. Fuck you.

4. Atypical antipsychotics are largely for the unspoken benefit of society surrounding the severely mentally ill. It's great if they feel better and live productive lives. Its necessary that they don't dangerously interfere with anyone else's.

5. We're no longer legally allowed to send someone off to a mental hospital because their rights as an individual prevent effectively incarcerating them for a disability. Think of the meds as a prison without bars.

6. Some people have bad knees or kidneys or hearts...some have bad brains. They're unfortunately broken as people, and most will never be functional or happy without expending more resources on them than their contributions to society warrant. There isn't a pill for this shit...and there was, it would be red.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

JuliaS HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Wed, 05/02/2018 - 03:02 Permalink

These kids have been to school with this PC stuff coming in and they're teaching five year old's about homosexual rights and transgender rights and plus, saying, "You're a bit mental, so have some Ritalin. We know you brain doesn't stop developing until you're 24, but you're 6, so I think it's time for some hardcore psychiatric drugs, don't you?

- Steve Hughes

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

Lea HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:08 Permalink

Psychiatry is NOT fake science. There are many ways to do psychiatry. Poisoning people is one of many, but it's the path America has chosen because it's the profitable one.

In the same way, you can do medicine in two ways: to cure people, or to make money with their illnesses by stuffing them with worthless and addictive medications.

Did you know Goldman Sachs has recently written that curing people "is not good for business"? What they want is return customers, not cured people who don't need medication anymore nor will transmit their diseases to create new customers.

Your problem is not psychiatry nor medicine, it's capitalism and the cult of profitability.

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0

ebworthen Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:49 Permalink

Doctor says it is o.k.,

Insurance company will pay.

Never-mind my Club-Med gig

This will fix you up, real big!


Yes, the Pharm-Rep. caters our lunches,

Pays for the Sunday conference brunches,

Lines my pocket with box seat tickets,

With enough kick-backs I can solve your rickets.


Socratic oath?  Old fashioned!  You dopes!

We've lost our profession, that's our confession.

Get back to work and pull those levers and ropes,

The Elites own all legislation & Congress's Pension!

Crawdaddy Tue, 05/01/2018 - 21:55 Permalink

In my little hamlet, I visited an oncologist to get a test only he could do. While there I asked if he noticed an unusual distribution or incidence of cancers among the people who normally don't get cancer. He said "Hell yes"

He said that on his last new patient admit day, a Friday, he saw a 21 yr old w/ breast cancer, a 28 yr old w/ colon cancer and a 17 yr old with pancreatic cancer.

Since this was a situation clearly not in line with what either of us know to be normal, I asked him why he thought this was happening. He said without hesitation "they are poisoning the shit out of us." The air. The water. The food.


cornflakesdisease Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

Psychiatric medications destroyed my brothers life. Before being prescribed these drugs 20 years ago, he was violent, angry, anxiety ridden, and paranoid. Now he is happily married 17 years, owns a business, and nothing like his former self. These drugs are evil + as a generic costs $4.

Pernicious Gol… Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:05 Permalink

My doctor is constantly trying to talk me into taking a statin because my cholesterol is 2 mg higher than "normal." I remind him there is no heart disease, vascular disease, high blood pressure nor diabetes on either side of my family. He again tries to talk me into it. I think the insurance companies pay him a bounty for poisoning his patients.

RallyRoundTheFamily Pernicious Gol… Thu, 05/03/2018 - 11:02 Permalink

My Doc told me if in your case they "do not prescribe a statin", the insurance company gives you a demerit.

Which they use for Dr ratings, (shown online)  The case he used was a 85 yr old woman who was 1 pt off on her cholesterol, he did not prescribe a statin, since patient was 85 and otherwise healthy.  They chastised him and demerit.

My experience w statins, they caused me chest pains so much so I was sent in for heart tests.

Stopped the statins, that chest pain went away.


In reply to by Pernicious Gol…

overmedicatedu… Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

observe those who lead in .gov, finance, media and entertainment..what do they have in common?

how is that related to our mental and physical health?

who is crazy? ask your doctor? check the internet?

we are controlled by the printers of fiat (thin air is more real)..if our money is not money why do we all want more?

are we controlled?? - ask facebook and google, amazon sells that.. they will tell you on twitter..

why do some have sooo much moar? did your smart phone just call?

the reptiles keep us from seeing them..THEY LIVE.  insane is it not?  oh we have drugs for that. they live, they live..

keep your 

eyes wide shut.

me ,I know them when I see them.  obey

107cicero Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

Drug industry is madness, excuse the pun.

So many poor Sheeple taking drugs that counteract symptoms from previous drugs and circle continually increases along with Pharma  profits.


JibjeResearch Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:32 Permalink

I quit taking the VA med for a while.

Now I take herbs medication from Asia...  fucking feeling good without side effects.

No back pain... eat, sleep, poop fucken well ... man lolz ahahahha

JohnG Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:34 Permalink

All you haters.....

I Like Drugs!

Gimme a bottle of Wild Turkey, a nice bag o' weed (the kind please) and any flavor benzo and it's ALL good.

But, as Dirty Harry Callahan taught us, "A Man Has To Know His Limitations."

If you can handle it, ok.  If not, stay away.

And get fucked up at home or wherever you can crash, don't endanger anyone except your own liver.

Rock on...............



I am Groot Tue, 05/01/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

Who doesn't want to take a drug that cures you of your problems. Oh and did we forget to mention the nose warts, flatulence, incontinence, hives, itchy eyeballs, uncontrollable drooling, anal leakage, hair loss, acne, gas, bloating, night sweats, insomnia, vomiting, black tarry stools, dry mouth, memory loss, dizziness, confusion, bruising, loss of hearing, joint pain, blurry vision, metallic taste in mouth, loss of bladder control, explosive diarrhea, convulsions, bleeding gums, muscle twitching, painful glands, bad breath, yellowing of eyes, blood in the urine, and sexual dysfunction. Fuck that pharma shit.

sassysocialist HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Wed, 05/02/2018 - 03:03 Permalink

No it is involuntary. I have had to go to mental health court and they always listen to the psychiatrist reading bullshit out of my file. I have had acute paranoid schizophrenia but I'm better now. Currently refusing treatment, let's see how long before the cops turn up lol. I used to be diagnosed as bipolar and got treated with olanzapine. It made me put on about 30kg twice in short order over two treatments. Olanzapine is poison and so is clopixol. It gives me the weirdest nightmares and I can't get a hard on either. It sucks. To be forcefully medicated by the sate isthe worst form of totalitarianism. No wonder I'm a libertarian!

In reply to by HRH of Aquitaine 2.0