October 19, 2007
Are you tired as I am of being bombarded by drug advertisements? Every symptom you could possibly imagine has a specific pill catered for it.
You’ve seen the ads: “Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat? Do you suffer from eye irritation in the morning? Do you feel drained a the end of the day? If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to consult your doctor and ask for this drug we’re pushing by name.” Then they rattle off side effects that sound worse than the symptom that would drive you to take the darn drug.
You can’t watch the evening news anymore without seeing a smorgasbord of ads for pharmaceuticals, most of them focusing on increasing the stamina of a certain part of the male anatomy, and it’s not the brain.
When you’re watching Brian Williams, Charles Gibson or Katie Couric, during the commercial breaks count how many ads are for expensive pharmaceuticals. I bet your count will reach as least eight to 12.
Basically, what all the ads are telling you is if want to better your life, take this little pill. Or, if your fantasy is to sit in a bathtub with your wife or girlfriend awkwardly sitting in another bathtub next to you, overlooking an ocean sunset, buy Cialis.
Drugs are not the fourth axis of evil. They help a lot of people throughout the world through unimaginable pain . But do doctors over-prescribe? Absolutely.
When an 8-year-old throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, the boy or girl’s mother, instead of giving the child an on-the-spot, behind-blistering spanking, calls a psychiatrist for help. And what do they do? Write a prescription for Ritalin, making a healthy, normal child a drug dependent zombie around his friends on the playground. Drugs can not take the place of parenting, but you won’t see that in any drug advertisement.
Some speculate that the fast-food industry is partially to blame for all the drugs people are taking. The government keeps coming out with reports on how the junk were consuming now will one day lead to things like diabetes and the hardening of arteries. When those illnesses strike, who’ll become your new best friend? Your full medicine cabinet.
It’s not the fast-food industry’s fault that we’re getting less healthy as a nation. That’s why willpower is such a vital asset to possess. The Democrat’s office is right next door to Griff’s, who makes a terrific chicken sandwich. Now, if I lacked willpower I’d be walking over there every day for one. The way my jeans have been filling out lately, I haven’t been avoiding the place as often as I should.
With kids’ obesity on the rise in this country, you would think more parents would sit down with their children and teach them about willpower. But you won’t see that in any fast-food ad either.
Next time you’re standing in the check-out line at Wal-Mart, flip through a copy of InTouch or Cosmopolitan magazine. Inside you’ll find ads for antidepressants such as Wellbutrin and Prozac. Teenage girls read those magazines religiously and even take advice from them, and right next to an article about how to apply eyeliner there’s a pharmaceutical ad. Why does the pharmaceutical industry do this? Girls will be women one day with their own source of income and have the potential to be future drug buyers.
Recently I noticed a pharmaceutical ad on a billboard along the exit to the University of Missouri, yards away from the Columbia Mall. The Wall Street Journal, in an article published this month, said in recent years pharmaceutical companies have ratcheted up their billboard advertising. The reasoning behind the move was you can’t turn off a billboard. Putting a shrill, immoral hat on, placing drug ads around schools and malls or heavy parent flow areas would be an exceptional business decision.
There’s nothing wrong with imaginative advertising or just old fashioned capitalism, but targeted advertising toward kids for drugs, well, don’t we put pushers in prison for that? There are thousands of ‘Julio’s’ (referring to the Paul Simon classic about a schoolyard drug dealer) in prison’s all across this country, serving decades of time for selling narcotics.
In all honesty, the pharmaceutical industry is just a legal ‘Julio’ down by the schoolyard, keeping their fingers crossed that we’ll all become, in a legal way, drug dependent.