Several recent studies conducted over the last few years have shown a growing trend of prescription medications being overprescribed and overused. Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, antibiotics and pain killers are among those that are considered most overused. In particular, pain medications are being given out, abused and inappropriately distributed at an alarming rate.
Some prescriptions can significantly improve overall wellness, successfully treat illnesses or even save your life, but even the most effective drugs often come with a long list of adverse side effects, the possibility of addiction, and the potential for causing future complications or health issues of which doctors may not currently be aware.
A recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the percentage of adults using at least one prescription drug has significantly increased and is still on the rise. This same study showed that adults with health insurance were more likely to use prescriptions. Now that the number of Americans with health insurance is significantly increasing, we can assume that prescription drug use with increase as well.
Passing out pills for what ails you is an essential part of Western medicine, and sometimes these medications are absolutely necessary. However, naturopaths and holistic health practitioners are constantly working to get their patients off of potentially toxic prescription medications in favor of using natural remedies and lifestyle changes to manage our health.
If you are concerned about your medications, the potential side effects and future effects on your health, you may want to consider alternative therapies and lifestyle changes that could allow you to reduce your dose or stop taking certain medications completely.
For example, exercise, dietary changes and reducing stress can successfully treat mild depression in some patients. Dietary changes and regular exercise may also lower your blood pressure enough to reduce the dose of your high blood pressure medication. Herbal teas and warm baths can help some people get a good night’s sleep without sleeping pills, and meditation or talk therapies may help your anxiety more than your anti-anxiety meds.
Simple lifestyle changes, improving your diet, adding herbal supplements or using alternative treatments may help you take fewer prescriptions or at least reduce your dosage. You should regularly review your prescriptions with your healthcare provider to see if you can lower your dose or try going off the meds to see if your natural treatments are working. Just be sure to always talk to your healthcare provider before you reduce or stop taking your meds.