Study shows more kids experimenting and overdosing on prescription pills


Ritalin, still more deadly than cannabis.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital recently conducted a study to determine the correlation between the rise in the number of adults on prescription drugs, and the number of children who accidentally ingest them. Shocking nobody, the team found that as the sheer number of drug prescriptions goes up, so does the number of kids being poisoned by them.

“This is the first step,” says lead researcher Dr. Lindsay Burghardt, “to identify the extent of the problem.”
You may have heard the term “Big Pharma” before, but did you know that it is an actual lobbying group? The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (or PhRMA) sends over 1,100 paid lobbyists to Capitol Hill each year with over $200 million in their pockets to sway legislation perpetually in their favor.
America’s population makes up roughly 5% of the total world population, yet every year we account for over 34% of the money spent worldwide on prescription drugs. Seven of the world’s twelve largest drug companies are based here in the U.S., competing tooth and nail against regulation in a booming business expected to reach $1.1 trillion dollars in annual revenues by next year.
Studies now show that 24% of American high school students admit to abusing prescription drugs in the past. At over 5 million kids, that total is a 33% increase over similar studies done in 2008. 1 out of every 5 of those teens polled said that their first abuse of prescription drugs came before the age of 14. 1 out of every 4 teens who abuse prescription drugs erroneously believes that the pills they are ingesting are “safer” than illegal “street drugs”.
$1.1 trillion in annual revenues all made possible by a mere $200 million in chump change for these companies – I think we have found the “extent of the problem”.
Dr. Burghardt goes on to say that the next step is to identify “why this is happening”.
It would be bad enough if Big PhRMA was only brainwashing our politicians, but the $200 million it drops each year in D.C. is a drop in the bucket compared to the $4 billion it spends annually in direct-to-consumer marketing. We are one of only two countries on the planet whose government allows prescription drugs to be advertised on television – the other being New Zealand.
In one example, institutionalized drug dealer Boehringer Ingelheim dished out $464million in advertising money to push their new blood thinner, Pradaxa, to the market. The next year, in 2012, sales of Pradaxa alone topped $1 billion in revenue.
Side effects of the popular anti-stroke medication include; unusual bruising, headaches and dizziness, pink or brown urine, red or black shits (which their website says may look like “tar”), vomiting blood or something that “looks like coffee grounds” (again, their words, not mine), or just severe bleeding leading to death.
When a for-profit company can just run a flashy commercial of an older couple “enjoying life” and push that poison for a billion dollars a year, “why this is happening” couldn’t be more clear. You don’t have to be a Wall Street money mogul to realize that it’s a surefire lucrative investment for these companies.
Being bombarded with these commercials are America’s youth, and as a result, 7 of the top 10 drugs used by 12th graders are prescription drugs. More than 40% of high school seniors report that prescription drugs are “fairly” or “very” easy to get.
Back to the Boston Children’s Hospital study, they found that while the most serious overdoses came from kids messing around with narcotic painkillers, the vast majority of cases involved drugs used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure.
A study done in 2012 by and the MetLife Foundation showed that 13% of America’s kids admit to having “experimented” with un-prescribed Ritalin or Adderall, drugs typically used to treat attention deficit disorder. Ignorant parents don’t help, and nearly 1/3rd of those polled honestly believed that Ritalin or Adderall, even when not prescribed, could help boost their kid’s performance at school.
Common advice, and the conclusion of the Boston Children’s Hospital research, warns parents and grandparents to keep their meds up high, in places inaccessible to children. That was their lackluster answer to a problem that now kills 270 Americans every single day – more than twice as many deaths than we see from car accidents.
The simple fact remains that our nation’s kids are now literally being shamelessly targeted by these powerful drug companies, and sales of drugs for kids are the industry’s fastest growing sector.
So the next time you see a story about pot brownies supposedly being marketed to kids, or even sending them to the hospital, at least they don’t have to worry about barfing up blood and shitting out tar. In fact, they ought to be more afraid of the hospital stay, where adverse prescription drug reactions cause injury or death in one out of every five hospital patients.
It’s an epidemic.