Tuesday, 13 September 2011

When is a medicine, not a medicine

Medicines are drugs and drugs are medicines. True? Well, yes and no. I am a Student working towards a Health Sciences degree looking at public health. I am now getting a little confused with the way the health system treats alternative treatment.

Years ago we would not get funding to receive acupuncture or massage as part of treatment. We have a medical system that in most aspects is one of the best in the world but it is failing a special group of people. The people that seek an alternative to the western medical model.A business model where the Doctor has a private practice and can charge as he or sees fit. Not only that , encourages people to to become reliant on pills dished out each visit .

People who don't want a 7 minute appointment and a prescription for a repeat of the medication that may or may not be effective. An example of ineffective medicines is SSRI's fluoxetine or prozac, arapax or many other generic brand names. Anti-depressant prescribing is forever on the increase.
From 1994 to 2004 there was a three fold increase in prescribed anti-deps. Thing is, if the medication worked , why is no one coming off these pills. In fact the numbers would suggest that depression is growing in numbers each year? So is depression transmissible, and we are failing to stop the spread of it? No!

So is it incurable? No!

So what is depression apart from a cluster of symptoms?
Depression is a real illness and it makes people feel miserable, for days, weeks months or years. It seems we don't have a cure and rely on the daily pill taking.
I have a concern, doesn't daily pill taking lead to dependency and addiction?

Apparently not when prescribed medicines are through the doctor. The actual problem we have is self-medicating. You see if you take a prescribed pill every day, needed or not its ok. but take another substance that gives the same benefit, ie, elevates the mood, helps the person to relax or sleep we are in deep do- do. In fact taking what works, if it is a plant called cannabis will land you in court.
Health according to the World Health Organisations description is not just the absence of illness, it encompasses well being.
Being well seems to mean different things for patients and politicians. Our Associate health Minister Peter Dunne Clearly does not worry too much about many peoples health issues at all. he is well aware of the 400,000 current users of cannabis in this country. He seems to believe and endorse the old mantra that don't do as I do, do as I say.
Here is a man in power who has admitting to using cannabis. Yet no one else can be trusted with this substance.
It seems ridiculous to deny seek people, a cheap medicine used by around a billion people who are familiar with a holistic medical model use cannabis.
So how come if I take my pills everyday I am not an addict but if I use cannabis every day for the same condition but with better results I will be sent to court . Who really has the right to say what works when an amputee has sensibly used cannabis for 20 years and yet is now having to defend his right. Is he harming anyone? Not at all.
Our minister of health is creating victims and hurting the most weak and vulnerable. his lack of compassion surely makes him unfit for the role? He has no medical backgound at all. Cannabis works for many people, not just in New Zealand. Most people start of their days with a drug. It can be a cup of tea, or coffee, (caffeine), or an anti depressant to get through the day, an anti-anxiety to cope with work pressures or any other meds, plus the range of alcohol and other drugs, we are a drug taking, relief seeking Nation , but what we take is our business.

No comments:

Post a Comment