American Addict on Prescription Drugs

American Addict is about prescription drugs and the alarming appetite for them in the United States, and it aims to illuminate a national health crisis. The title is misleading — the film is more about unethical practices by the drug companies and the gross ineffectiveness of the FDA than it is about addiction to prescribed medications. The over-use of pharmaceuticals in this country is an epidemic, and this film is a very good objective source of information — insightful comments coming from the mouths of doctors, researchers, and politicians. One of the most important topics in America today, largely because of the obscene numbers of people taking pharmaceuticals, or who have died from them, or who are swayed daily by slick TV drug commercials, or who are on 3, 4, or even 10 different pills and still see no fundamental error with this. With only five percent of world population, more than 50% of all prescription drugs in the world are used in the US, and 80% of all narcotic prescription drugs are used in the US. The fourth leading cause of death in the US is medications. How can this be normal? So people die from these prescribed drugs:  Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Michael Jackson. I’ve been reading for years about the actions of the pharmaceutical drug companies, collectively called Big Pharma, and it is nice to have it so well and so thoroughly covered in this film. The facts put forward can be checked and verified quite easily. An excellent and riveting look at how Big Pharma are making America the most prescription-addicted society in the world. Yes, the current push is to treat everything with a pill, and that is simply wrong. This is the reason most drug abuse starts with prescription drugs, and not through the sales of drug dealers. What’s scary is the FDA, the agency that should be the watchdog, has been bought by drug companies. Awful, awful. The pharmaceutical industry’s influence and control are deeply imbedded in our culture. The industry is doing its job — making a profit, but often unethically and sometimes illegally. The regulatory system is failing in its job to protect the public — the FDA is not adequately protecting us. We don’t have access to the information needed to protect ourselves, and critical information is concealed. This documentary gives us a chance. It focuses primarily on one side of the argument–but it does so well and thoroughly, with a broad range of interviewees on a topic in serious need of examination. One recent study cites the fact that prescriptions for drugs like Ritalin and Adderall have gone up 400% over the last 20 years. Even if you’re aware of the problem, this movie is eye-opening. I see over-prescription of medications daily in my work as a hospital nurse over the past 30 years. It doesn’t help that doctors get money from pharmaceutical companies, either — doctors have their hands caught in the cookie jar in this film. Many adults can remember when the trusted family physician used to make house calls, and practiced the doctor’s credo of “Do no harm.” Today new doctors are still trading on the tail end of this tradition of trustworthy family doctors, but the fact is that MANY MODERN DOCTORS CANNOT BE TRUSTED, because they place their own financial interest in profit ahead of your health and well-being as a patient. I most certainly agree with the psychiatrist who verbalizes quite well the shift from taking time to allow people to communicate their problems to a more streamlined type of care: “let’s medicate them and make a profit and move on”. Our current medical environment does not allow time for the clinician to talk with the client let alone allow the client time to talk with the clinician, because it is not profitable. In this environment doctors reach out for the most easily reliable and profitable fix, which is medication. As consumers, we have to be in control of what we put into our bodies, and “just say ‘no’!!” to the white-coated drug-pushers. We can say “no”, you know. My family is skeptical of all things, and we never blindly accept the word of a “Professional”, no matter how impressive the certifications are of a Professional Doctor. It’s irresponsible to accept a purported fact without further researching it, no matter what the case, no matter what the source, because until you learn about something for yourself, you don’t really know the truth. I don’t have the answers — I don’t think anyone does. We all just have to use our common sense and do what’s best for us. The public deserves to know the information in this film so we can make better decisions concerning prescription drugs. The film isn’t sending the message that all prescription drugs are bad — it’s simply saying there are problems/corruptions within the prescription drug system that are worth looking into and watching out for! I am lucky, so far, not having to take any drugs of any kind. I’m a female, 76 years of age, and I’m completely healthy. I attend a gym five days a week, paid for by my health insurance. I walk the 20 minutes each way, as well. I also eat as healthy as I can. My weight is good for my age. I know someday I’ll probably have to take some kind of drug, but so far, I avoid them as much as I can. You may live a lot longer if you deal with most of your maladies through organic diet, exercise, sleep, fun, sunshine, etc. I have a neighbor, 63 years of age, who takes six prescription drugs a day. She knows she really doesn’t need them, but she just can’t stop taking them. Well, we do live in an “I always want to feel good” world. I especially liked the segment in the film about so many commercials hawking drugs. The other day I watched a show on which, I kid you not, almost every commercial was for a different prescription drug with all the side effects. There is a massive deception being perpetrated on the public. I work at a Detox & Rehab center specializing in helping people come off pharmaceutical drugs, especially psych meds, and it is horrifying to see firsthand how addictive and painful (physically/mentally/emotionally) it is for these good people to try and rid their body’s dependencies on these substances. My opinion is that in some cases, there are some decent meds out there which can be helpful in severe cases. But many, especially benzo’s and other psych meds, are often extremely harmful to the mind, body, and yes, even the soul, it would appear. People’s lives are ripped away, and they become useless to their families, unable to cope with life, unable to relate to their partners, and feel as though they are living in hell. I certainly concur that drug companies are out of control, as depicted in this show, and the lobbyists they hire have helped to aid and abet their criminal activities against the American public with the aid of Congress. No argument there. They have the FDA and the politicians in their pockets! In this film we see politicians with their hands caught in the cookie jar, as well as doctors. Incredible facts to back up all the bribe money given to specific lawmakers, who then congratulate themselves on ceremonious “history making” legislation, which is really just fattening their own pockets, and those of the drug companies, creating more horrific drug dependencies and/or death in the millions. But what do they care? They get rich. No accountability whatsoever. SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE! Drug companies are also bullying Judges (who are smart enough to see through their web of lies) to let the cases against them fall through the cracks! The very idea that drug companies put drugs on the market with the clear knowledge that people will get sick and/or even die is totally criminal! If you are in any way shape or form connected with the pharmaceutical industry, you’re a part of this movement. I work for the marketing team for a big pharma company, where dangerous off-label prescribing (for illnesses the drug has not been approved for by the FDA) has been burned into my brain. It’s time to find a new job. Watch the drug reps next time you’re at the doctor’s office. You won’t see any ugly drug reps — they are all attractive people selling a product that they really aren’t that knowledgeable about. A lawyer in the film who specializes in suing Pharma companies says that the level of illegal activity of Big Pharma makes the illegal Drug Cartels looks like child’s play, so this should be a huge red flag. AMERICA, WAKE UP! This documentary clearly proves not only that Big Business, and Government are totally corrupt, but that they don’t care how many people will get sick and/or die, as long as the money keeps rolling in! The people with money and power will just continue to do whatever they want, and the public will pay the price!  The influence Big Pharma has on the political system, the regulatory agencies, and education system is utterly egregious. Big Banks, Big Oil, Big Agra, Big Pharma — are we doomed? This movie is highly enlightening. The film effectively feels like it’s exposing you to the realities of where medicine is taking the public — and how you can make more informed decisions. An important film for anyone to watch who has concerns about the influence of medications on the American public. Wow, what an outstanding excellent documentary containing vital information for everyone. Fabulous film with jaw-dropping statistics and information. Great Movie!! Great Facts!! Great interviews!! It will open some eyes and minds. This documentary is brilliant, direct, and pulls no punches!  I applaud the makers of this film — Mr. Sasha Knezev you made a powerhouse film. Thank you for writing, producing and distributing this well-researched and telling exposé. This is a must-watch. I just wish everyone in the U.S. would watch it and learn that you are more likely to die from medical error and prescription drugs than if you avoid them. This documentary is definitely worth watching to understand why prescription drugs are a major problem in the US. Documentary 2013 NR 1hr 29 min.

SEE ALSO:

Love and Other Drugs

Docudrama 2010 R 112 minutes. Pharmaceutical representative Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes a player in the big game of male-performance-enhancement-drug sales and, along the way, finds unexpected romance with a woman (Anne Hathaway) suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Based on the real-life Jamie Reidy’s memoir, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, this satirical look inside the culture of Big Pharm is directed by Edward Zwick.

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