“You have to ask yourself why there is never a mention about the harm these companies cause by anyone in government or a position of authority. If you take a look at the tragedy that has befallen this country when it comes to our kids, you’ll start to see that behind nearly every school shooting or large-scale act of violence, there are SSRI medications involved.”
Long Island Business News –
October 31, 2013
By Tracy Diaz
Hold on tight, this is going to be controversial.
This time of year is always a hard one emotionally; not because of something that happened to me, but because of something that happened to a very dear friend of mine. Ten years ago, she lost her daughter to suicide at the young age of 15.
I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose a child, let alone under such horrible circumstances. This vibrant teenager was prescribed anti-depressants by her doctor. Anti-depressants that were not approved for individuals under the age of 24.
In 2012 there was a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, makers of SSRI medication like Paxil and Wellbutrin, in which the drug manufacturer admitted fraud in using tactics aimed at promoting the use of the drug in children, including helping to publish a medical journal article that misreported the data from a clinical trial. Also included in this groundbreaking lawsuit were the startling revelations that doctors were given perks for prescribing these drugs, even to individuals that the medications were not approved for.
My friend didn’t understand the implications of “big pharma” as it is named now, until after her loss. She had begun her quest for truth soon after her daughter’s death, but when this lawsuit was settled, the validation that she was correct was overwhelming. Being hit with the knowledge that her daughter may have died so that a doctor could attend a spa vacation was hard to swallow. Soon she started to notice things, like when she opened up a magazine and saw that most of the ads were from pharmaceutical companies, and watched TV to see that every third commercial was directed at informing you of another drug, while at the end listing the horrible side effects very quickly, so as not to scare you from taking it.
She started connecting the dots. Would the news media even exist without these pharmaceutical companies paying for the advertising on most of the nightly news shows? She then started doing some digging into “open secrets” to see pharmaceutical companies contributing handsomely to the campaigns of your state and federal legislators. When you do the research yourself, you’ll be startled to see what happens if you “follow the money.”
You have to ask yourself why there is never a mention about the harm these companies cause by anyone in government or a position of authority. If you take a look at the tragedy that has befallen this country when it comes to our kids, you’ll start to see that behind nearly every school shooting or large-scale act of violence, there are SSRI medications involved. You can’t help but connect the dots that corporations are calling the shots over our legislators and representatives, and that they, in fact, are running the show.
This country has the highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country. According to a Forbes article, “By 2008, the annual number of fatal drug poisonings surpassed those of motor vehicle deaths and overdose deaths attributable to prescription drugs exceeded those of cocaine and heroin combined.” And yet the “war on drugs” continues, all the while disregarding the most dangerous drugs prescribed legally by our own doctors.
As more and more children are being “diagnosed” with behavioral diseases such as ADHD, more and more medication is being prescribed to these children. Whatever happened to a “kid being a kid?” Why do we as a society feel the need to medicate our children for the normal aches and pains of growing up? Why are normal teenage hormonal changes now considered a “disorder?” And better yet, what are the side effects of these medications that we may not even know about yet? What harm are we causing by trying to medicate away life? We sometimes are blindly trusting those who sadly, may not have the purest of intentions.
I usually shy away from controversy, but through my friendship with Gigi Bowman, I have learned so much. She has dedicated her life to helping to educate and inform Long Islanders about the issues facing us as a community. She says that if she can help one family make the right decision when it comes to pharmaceuticals, her daughter’s death won’t be in vain. Gigi and another friend of mine started an organization called “SAVE: Long Island” which meets monthly to show films and invites speakers in to educate Long Islanders about what is happening to our communities right beneath our noses. Through this organization she has helped to enlighten and educate many people.
It’s imperative that we stand up as a community and protect one another and our families from the dangers associated with prescription drugs, and also that we educate ourselves enough to make the right decisions when it comes to the health and well being of ourselves and our children. When special interests take the place of our best interests, there is a problem. I hope this article started you on a journey. I hope that at least one person who reads this starts doing some research, and I maybe got one lightbulb to “flip” on. Gigi’s daughter deserves at least that.