Letter from the Editor


Photo by Shaylee Vigil
Photo by Shaylee Vigil

We live in a world where there is a pill, shot or syrup to treat nearly every health problem we experience. Most members of American society rely at least somewhat on prescription and over-the-counter drugs to relieve anything from minor aches and pains to an inability to focus.

We see prescription drugs as a logical and safe way to solve our issues without realizing that they are, in fact, drugs.

American youth are not exempt from this. Children, teens, and young adults are prescribed a myriad of drugs such as amphetamines and antidepressants that can have both extremely negative and positive effects.

While there are situations in which prescription drugs can have a significant positive impact on one’s life, these chemicals also pose a danger and are not often utilized in appropriate ways.

Over the years doctors have become increasingly reliant on prescribing drugs as a first resort without considering possible causes and other treatments for health-related problems, which has contributed largely to our reliance as a society on these chemicals.

Holistic and naturopathic remedies are often looked down upon and not frequently considered as viable methods of treating medical issues, although human beings have been using natural methods as treatments for centuries.

Thousands of these problems come about as a result of unhealthy lifestyles, but rather than making healthier choices, we turn to drugs to provide us with a quick fix.

Many of the drugs prescribed to youth and young adults today have been used as medication for less than ten years, which means that their long-term effects cannot be studied yet. Scientists discover new things about drugs that have been used to treat diseases for much longer than that; I believe prescription medications should be used with caution partially for this reason. The possible negative effects that could arise in the future may be nothing we are equipped to deal with.

Another issue that arises with prescribing youth these types of medication is that these chemicals alter our body’s natural chemistry. Crucial developmental stages occur when we are children, and human beings continue to develop mentally and physically into their 20s.

While extensive research has been done on these subjects, there is no way to know for certain how these chemicals will affect the way our brains develop.

If children as young as 7 years old are being prescribed Adderall and Ritalin, and researchers are looking into the effects of these types of drugs on preschool-aged children, there are a huge number of ways these chemical changes could negatively affect or stunt their development.

Medication provides a much-needed solution to the slew of problems we experience, but it should be used sparingly and as a last resort. Chemical dependency and other negative side effects of these drugs are reason enough to proceed with caution when taking prescription medication. Our reliance on these types of drugs has the potential to cause many more problems than it does solutions.




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