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Recreational Drugs FAR Less Likely to Kill You than Prescribed Drugs!
By Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D.
The dirty little secret the AMA doesn't want anyone to know about.
Recreational drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are responsible for an estimated 10,000-20,000 American deaths per year [1,2]. While this represents a serious public health problem, it is a "smokescreen" for America's real drug problem. America's "war on drugs" is directed at the wrong enemy. It is obvious that interdiction, stiff mandatory sentences, and more vigorous enforcement of drug laws have failed.
The reason is simple. Cause and effect have been reversed.
The desire to solve problems by taking drugs is a product of our culture. When a child is taught by loving parents that the appropriate response to pain or discomfort is taking a pill, it is obvious that such a child, when faced with the challenges of adolescence, will seek comfort by taking drugs. Drugs are Dangerous Whether Pushed or Prescribed
While approximately 10,000 per year die from the effects of illegal drugs, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that an estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs which, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and properly administered. More than two million suffer serious side effects. 
An article in Newsweek  put this into perspective. Adverse drug reactions, from "properly" prescribed drugs, are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. According to this article, only heart disease, cancer, and stroke kill more Americans than drugs prescribed by medical doctors. Reactions to prescription drugs kill more than twice as many Americans as HIV/AIDS or suicide. Fewer die from accidents or diabetes than adverse drug reactions. It is important to point out the limitations of this study. It did not include outpatients, cases of malpractice, or instances where the drugs were not taken as directed.
According to another AMA publication, drug related "problems" kill as many as 198,815 people, put 8.8 million in hospitals, and account for up to 28% of hospital admissions.  If these figures are accurate, only cancer and heart disease kill more patients than drugs. Has the situation improved since the publication of this information? Hardly. Null  et al have published the most comprehensive and well-documented study I have seen of deaths associated with medical practice. In this report, their research revealed some shocking facts. The findings are summarized in the abstract:
"A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good. The number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million. Dr. Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995, said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. Dr. Besser, in 2003, now refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million. The total number of iatrogenic deaths shown in the following table is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. The 2001 heart disease annual death rate is 699,697; the annual cancer death rate, 553,251."
Drugs Number One Killer:
The authors conclude: "When the number one killer in a society is the healthcare system, then, that system has no excuse except to address its own urgent shortcomings. It's a failed system in need of immediate attention. What we have outlined in this paper are insupportable aspects of our contemporary medical system that need to be changed -- beginning at its very foundations."
A recent article in Archives of Internal Medicine  stated that in the seven year period from 1998 through 2005, reported serious adverse drug events increased 2.6-fold, and fatal adverse drug events increased 2.7-fold. The authors noted that reported serious events increased 4 times faster than the total number of outpatient prescriptions during the period. Another study concluded that the majority(86%) of the adverse drug reactions for which patients were admitted to a medical intensive care unit were preventable. 
One proposed solution to the illegal drug problem was encouraging potential users to ignore peer pressure and "just say no." Interestingly, this strategy is not being recommended for prescription drugs. Bruce Pomeranz, MD , one of the authors of the JAMA paper, said he is not warning people to stay away from drugs. "That would be a terrible message," he said. Lucian Leape, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health said, "When you realize how many drugs we use, maybe those numbers aren't so bad after all."  Does that mean that the number of deaths due to illegal drugs, suicide, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, accidents, and drunk driving "aren't so bad" either? Does it mean that we shouldn't discourage drunk driving or unsafe sex?
The folly of such double standards should be obvious to all. It is time to address the real drug problem -- the cultural notion that the first solution to seek for relief of life's problems is a drug. That's the drug culture we need to address.
1) "Drug deaths." Globe & Mail (Canada). February 27, 1998.
2) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC. 2007;56(05):93-96.
3) Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN: "Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients." JAMA 1998;279:1200.
4) Kalb C: "When drugs do harm." Newsweek. April 27, 1998. Page 61.
5) "Reaction." American Medical News. January 15, 1996. Page 11.
6) Null G, Dean C, Feldman, M, Rasio, D, Smith D: "Death by Medicine." Life Extension. March, 2004. www.lef.org/magazine/mag2004/mar2004_awsi_death_01.htm
7) Moore TJ, Cohen MR, Furberg CD: Serious adverse drug events reported to the Food and Drug Administration, 1998-2005. Archives of Internal Medicine 2007;167:1752-1759.
8) Rivkin A: Admissions to a medical intensive care unit related to adverse drug reactions. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 2007;64(17):1840-1843.
Many thanks to Dr. Kent for his article. He is a good friend, and one of the leaders in the chiropractic profession. Dr. Kent was named the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) "Chiropractic Researcher of the Year" in 1991, and was the recipient of that honor from World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) in 1994. Dr. Kent was also selected "Chiropractor of the Year" in 1998 by the International Chiropractors Association, and is the Main Representative of the WCA to the Department of Public Information, the first chiropractor elected to that position.
Dr. Kent is co-founder of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA). An attorney as well as a chiropractor, Dr. Kent is an active member of the State Bar of California, and is admitted as an attorney of the United States District Court, Southern District of California. You can read more about Dr. Kent's work in a special issue of The American Chiropractor.
Taking a Closer Look at Drug-Induced Mortality Statistics:
According to available data, some 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs that are properly prescribed and properly administered, and side effects kill as many as 198,815 people. Let me give you an idea of what the medical error and mortality rate of conventional medicine looks like:
The recorded error rate of ICU's is like the post office losing more than 16,000 pieces of mail every hour of every day, or banks deducting 32,000 checks from the wrong bank account every hour, 24/7. The recorded medical errors and deaths equate to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day, 365 days a year.
Since 2001, a recorded 490,000 people have died from properly prescribed drugs in the United States, while 2,996 people died on U.S. soil from terrorism, all in the 9/11 attacks; prescription drugs are therefore 16,400 percent more dangerous than terrorism. If deaths from over-the-counter drugs are also included, then drug consumption leaps to being 32,000 percent more dangerous than terrorism. And conventional medicine viewed as a whole is 104,700 percent deadlier than terrorism. However, sobering as this may sound, let's take a closer look at these statistics, to give you an even more shocking view of what your REAL risk of drug-induced death might be.
During sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate on November 18, 2004, whistle-blower David J. Graham, MD, MPH, stated that according to estimates derived from the Kaiser-FDA study, Vioxx caused upwards of 160,000 heart attacks and strokes. This data was published in The New England Journal of Medicine October 21, 2004; 351(17): 1707-1709. Of these, an estimated 30-40 percent probably died. That would put us at an estimated 64,000 deaths from Vioxx alone between its release in 1999 until its removal in 2004. That makes just one drug responsible for about 6 percent of all recorded deaths from side effects in one year.
Or, based on the other statistic of 490,000 deaths from prescription drugs between 2001 and 2007, which comes out to be about 70,000 people per year, Vioxx alone would account for just under 19 percent of drug deaths per year.
What we're driving at here is the fact that the number of properly recorded drug-induced deaths are MINUSCULE in relation to the REAL numbers. Reputable sources state the number of properly recorded deaths and side effects from drugs to be around 6 percent. Some state it's probably lower than one percent. It's never been seen to go over 10 percent. So, let's be generous and say it's actually as high as 10 percent. Then the recorded number of deaths attributable to side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, currently at 198,815 people per year, would look more like this:
1,988,150 people per year.
According to the 2007 CDC mortality report, just under 2.4 million people died in the U.S. in 2004 from any and all causes. Also note that these numbers are nearly four years old; they may very well be higher today.
Then again, is it not possible that a vast majority of heart disease, cancer and stroke are misdiagnosed side effects of synthetic drug use? You decide -- but based on the scientific findings, many of the drugs on the market do indeed increase your risk of everything from heart problems to diabetes, and millions of people are taking anywhere from five to 25 different medications at the same time! Until accurate and unbiased reporting of side effects and deaths from drugs is implemented, we'll never know the true extent of the genocidal drug experiment you're experiencing. But there is absolutely no doubt that FAR more people die from pharmaceutical drug use than from illegal drugs.
Street Drugs vs. Pharmaceuticals:
In a previous article, we apparently live in a strange paradox where society condemns street drugs like amphetamines, yet has no qualms about giving it in massive doses -- under legalized brand names -- to two-year-olds who are in their prime physical- and mental developmental years. It is beyond bizarrae that so many American children are in need of amphetamines to function "normally," considering the fact that death from prescribed psychotherapeutic drugs has doubled in five years. You may also have noticed that more and more parents are now facing jail time for refusing to drug their children for invented diseases that -- according to an ever more involved government -- must be treated with pharmaceutical drugs, while overlooking all other alternatives. Even the American government is siding with Big Pharma, using legal action to perpetuate this bizarre forced-legal-drug-use scheme. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry is raking in massive profits -- more than three times the average of other Fortune 500 industries -- even after including all research and development costs. Let's face it. pharmaceuticals are not about making you healthy and well.
Make no mistake, there is no such thing as a pharmaceutical drug that can offer true prevention, because synthetic chemicals cannot produce health. They do not belong in your body to begin with, and you should know that your body will always try to protect itself from foreign substances and "invaders," so how would these chemicals possibly create health? I realize that asking you to Take Control of Your Health means battling a massive drug culture that has permeated the very core of American society. But there is no magic pill! You cannot cure your ailments with pharmaceutical drugs.
We strongly urge everyone to think carefully about taking prescribed drugs. Yes, there are cases and instances where they are warranted and even helpful but please be VERY CAREFUL with scripted medication. Do not seek passive medical intervention for your physical and mental wellbeing - you have to actively participate in it. Again there are instances where a properly scripted drug can make a positive difference. But make your decision an informed one. As you move into a brand new year, remember: You're in control. Once enough people have had enough, and enough people become the change they desire, change will be inevitable. Make this the year that you take control of your health and life.
@A few facts about the pharmaceutical industry (source: HealthAssist.net)
1) The average cost of developing and bringing a new prescription drug to market is $802 Million. It usually takes between 10-15 years to develope and bring a new med to market.
2) large manufacturers like Merck and Pfizer spent twice as much on adverising and marketing cost than they do on research expenses.
3) Each year in the U.S., more than 160 million prescriptions are written for antibiotics alone. Humans consume 235 million doses of antibiotics annually. It is estimated that 20% -50% of those antibiotics are unnecessary.