Maggie said I should do a post on how many drug commercials are on TV when we’re facing an opioid crisis. So…here goes. I love watching commercials because I view them as mini movies. Normally, I doze off during the drug commercials, because they’re boring, but I’ve been paying more attention to them since she made the suggestion. One thing I’ve noticed is that there really aren’t any commercials on there for “addictive” drugs. Since I’m overly curious, I did some internet checking to see if they were banned from advertising them, but I didn’t come up with an answer. I think they probably are, though.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem like the commercials they do show would contribute to our current problem, but Maggie may be on to something here. From what I’ve seen, there aren’t many illnesses you can have that they don’t recommend a pill. One that is guaranteed to fix the problem. Therein lies the problem, don’t you think? Have we become too accustomed to popping a pill for whatever ails us instead of trying something else?
Overweight? We have a pill for that. Heaven forbid you give up the donuts and Snickers bars. (Or in my case a Big Hunk.) Smoker? Pill for that. Granted, it may cause you to commit suicide, but then you wouldn’t be smoking, right? Heartburn, arthritis, depression, etc. Every illness seems to have a pill that will cure it. Of course, I do watch too much TV, but I’ve seen about a million drug commercials.
I’m going to digress for a bit. (You saw that one coming, didn’t you?) How exactly does it work, anyway? You see a commercial and you go to your doctor and say the guy on TV said I should be taking _____. Can you prescribe it for me? Is that when the doctor calls in the shrink? Isn’t that what we pay a doctor for? Aren’t they supposed to know what’s best for us, not some guy on TV who’s paid to sell the drug?
And another point. If you pay close attention to the commercials, they always put a drug disclaimer in there. The FDA has apparently mandated they list all the nasty side effects of said drug. And they’re bad. In some cases, the “cure” sounds a lot worse than anything you might be experiencing prior to taking them. Did I mention the increased chances of suicide? How about the one that says it could cause heart problems? Why exactly would any sane person go to their doctor and ask for a drug that might kill them? Yes, I know he might prescribe another drug that has the same side effects, but unless you read that 40-page printout they give you, you’ll never know. Ignorance really can be bliss.
No, “they” aren’t showing commercials for opioids, but “they” are showing commercials for everything else imaginable. We probably are a drug-addicted society. Do drugs have a place in our lives? Absolutely. Disclaimer here, I personally prefer homeopathic solutions, but I take my fair share of prescription drugs. So, I am not anti-drug. But sometimes, I think we can work through our problems without taking something to help us. Sometimes, we can look to the heavens and not to the doctors, (or the TV commercial) to solve our problem.
Scientists have determined that petting a cat can lower your blood pressure. It’s true—try it! Of course, when you have as many as we do, it can also raise your blood pressure. There are therapy dogs. Dietary changes and weight loss can reverse diabetes. (Works for me!) There’s prayer. There’s a lot of things you can try before you turn to a TV commercial for the answer. Try them first.
I’m going to side with Maggie. Let’s stop advertising drugs on TV. They stopped advertising cigarettes because it led to smoking. So, let’s stop advertising drugs. We might add alcohol to the list, too. There are as many beer commercials as there are drug commercials. And for people (like me) who see a commercial and get that stuck in their head long enough to buy a candy bar or go to the Cracker Barrel for fried turkey, overexposure to drug commercials can lead to drug dependence. (Side note: The fried turkey looks great on TV. TV food always looks great, and it’s never the same at the restaurant. It isn’t in this case, either. It’s better. If you haven’t tried the fried turkey yet, do so. I promise you won’t regret it. Seriously yummy!)
Bottom line, drugs have a purpose. Drug commercials do not, that’s a doctor’s job. Let’s stop advertising drugs and start advertising God. At least that way we won’t have to listen to a minute of dire consequences from taking the drug. God doesn’t come with a disclaimer.