Most children seem to instinctively have an aversion to pills. That’s why “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”.
However, by the time we get to our later life years, the number of pills we take can become a badge of honour, or at least a recognition that someone still cares about us.
(See my earlier blogs on pills by clicking on “PILLS” in the TAG CLOUD).
The pill industry is thriving, even in the midst of a recession. Doctors, urged on by their patients, shovel pills down us like there is no tomorrow. Chemists are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with shelves and shelves of pills and potions.
BUT is this a step on a Health Ladder ? or a slide down a slippery snake ?
Concerns are now being expressed, not before time, that patients are becoming addicted to pills.
- 62 million prescriptions are issued for painkillers every year
- 50 million are given out for sleeping tablets
- 18 million tranquilizers are prescribed annually
A study at Harvard University found that pensioners who had regularly taken pills for insomnia and anxiety were 50% more likely to develop dementia.
The new guidelines being given to GPs urge them to consider alternatives to drugs, such as counselling and physiotherapy. This is pretty hollow advice if counselling and physiotherapy services for the elderly are almost non-existent in the NHS.