Statistics of the number of people taking antidepressants in the U.S.
One of the most commonly prescribed medications includes antidepressants. Is cannabis the right alternative? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported data from 2005-2008. Eleven percent of people over twelve years of age take some type of antidepressant. Lastly, “the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%.”
Physicians prescribe antidepressants for different mental health reasons. It appears a medication exists for every ailment. Unfortunately, many conservatives do not think outside the box. People put all of their trust into their prescribing doctor. The majority of people take what they are prescribed without doing their own research on the risks, side-effects, and possible interactions.
The CDC explained, “Less than one-third of Americans taking one antidepressant medication and less than one-half of those taking multiple antidepressants have seen a mental health professional in the past year.” Furthermore, the medical community does not always utilize a holistic approach. A holistic approach discusses alternative medicine, introduces therapeutic techniques that may help before prescribing antidepressants, and treats patients with dignity and respect. People remain unaware of the drastic influence pharmaceuticals have on the medical field.
News Report about FDA hearings on antidepressants
A news report discussed FDA hearings confirming the risks of anti-depressants. Officials denied the drug industry’s influence on prescribing physicians. It is no secret that pharmaceutical companies have a monumental influence. For instance, Dr. Taylor explained:
“There is a feeling among many members of parliament that the drug industry has much greater influence over the national health system than it should have. It decides where the research goes and that’s where treatment goes.”
The FDA halted a study from being published due to reliability. The research reviewed 22 studies using nine different drugs. Dr. Mosholder found a heightened link between suicide and antidepressant use. Although the FDA prevented this study’s publication, Dr. Tarak Hammad spoke in support of the research findings. He explained Dr. Mosholder’s results were in fact justified. Experts gave a statement at this hearing and confirmed a higher risk of self-harm existed in children given antidepressants vs. those given the placebo. As we can see, those in power play a major role in influencing what happens in the medical field. If there is a heightened risk of suicide, why aren’t other forms of treatment being investigated?
Article Written in the Canadian Medical Association
David Juurlink, M.D. discussed his thoughts in an article titled, Medicinal Cannabis: Time to lighten up? A few points worth mentioning include his review of the purpose of prescribing medication. Two main purposes exist:
- help the patient feel better and(or) help the patient live longer.
- weighing the benefits against the risks of the prescribed medication.
These two purposes seem like common sense, but do you think all prescribers have this interest at heart? “These criteria are so intuitive and irrefutable that one might argue they need not be explicitly stated. Yet they do because many of our prescriptions violate one or both of them.” A strong lack of evidence exists on some “legal” medications. All you have to do is take a closer look at the studies done as well as how quickly some of these drugs last on the market.
PTSD and how cannabis helped to alleviate symptoms
A study conducted in New Mexico looked at PTSD symptom reports for those in a medical cannabis program. The results revealed greater than a seventy-five percent reduction in symptom scores when using cannabis! Given the power of “Big Pharma” cannabis lacks in scientific research. The criminalization of cannabis links to heavy drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine. The drug industry continues to influence the research conducted. Gaining scientific research on the benefits of cannabis will expose the truth of this medicine.
What does all this mean?
Western medicine affects a number of people. We are not saying cannabis should replace all prescription medications. We are specifically looking at mental health difficulties. A high number of people struggle with emotional hardships, mental health problems, and diagnoses.
Let’s start pushing for treatments that have fewer risks, side effects, and dangers of long-term use. Antidepressants are more serious than society gives them credit for. Why? Because those at the top decide where the research goes! Do you think the risk of suicide increases after smoking a joint, vaping, eating a brownie, or taking a dab?
Not to mention a number of cannabis options exist (CBD) that do not provide a high but still give the benefits of this amazing medicine. With more research, we can learn what strains help with depression, anxiety, and other common mental health difficulties.