In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2012/ 26 Tammuz, 5772

A pill for every problem

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, my father suffered a medical emergency. At the hospital, we were asked what medication he took. He is 83. His answer was aspirin and Zocor.

"That's it?" came the reply.

Days later, when he had been prescribed a daily blood thinner pill, a blood pressure pill, and a stronger cholesterol pill, a therapist asked him the same question. What medication do you take?

He answered, detailing the three pills.

"Wow," came the response, "You're doing great for your age."

The statement was telling -- especially the "age" part -- for this is truly The Age of Over-Prescription, when anything and everything has a pill assigned to it.

Did you know the average American fills 12 prescriptions a year? Our medicine cabinets are stocked with small brown bottles. There are countless ads trumpeting the benefits of this drug or that drug. From heartburn to heartache, there is a pill you can pop.

And that's how the drug companies want it.

"It's a huge business," says Alesandra Rain. She should know. At one point in her life, she took over 100 pills a day -- the result of an injury and personal issues that led to one pill, then another, then another, all prescribed by doctors. "I took pills for insomnia, for anxiety, for sleep, for depression, muscle relaxers."

She would blame the doctors, but, as she says, "We're culpable, too. I wanted my pain handled instantly."

And plenty of drugs promised to do it.

America wasn't always this pill-popping nation. It used to be that if you had a problem, you saw a doctor, and if the doctor felt it was serious enough, he prescribed a drug.

Today, your TV trumpets drugs straight to your face. You're asked if you have this or that problem. You're told there is a way to deal with it. Next thing you know, you're asking your doctor -- maybe even demanding -- for some of that stuff.

"The HMO system has crushed us," says Rain, who eventually quit all her pills and started a group call Point Of Return. "Doctors don't have time to figure out what's wrong. They just write a prescription."

Of course, they have motivation, as we learned in the recent humongous $3 billion judgment against GlaxoKlineSmith. It revealed that doctors were often enticed to prescribe drugs through perks, kickbacks, even vacations.

This on top of the fact that Glaxo marketed antidepression drugs to under-18-year-olds, despite the fact they had not been declared safe for young patients.

It's clear why the drug companies would push those limits. The younger you hook them, the longer you have them. And it plays into the mentality of our country, which seems to be: If you have a problem, open a vial. Cholesterol pushing upwards? A pill for that. Can't sleep? A pill for that. Not feeling so great? A pill for that.

Never mind that these issues were once dealt with by diet, exercise or facing our problems. Today it's easier -- and much more lucrative to the drug companies -- if you just take a handful and swallow.

Did you know only America and New Zealand even allow direct to consumer drug ads? Think about it. Why should average citizens be seeing ads for drugs? Shouldn't that be limited to the physicians who then determine if they are appropriate?

But the drug companies are clever enough to leapfrog the process, go straight to the customer, and count on those in pain, in sadness, overweight or overindulgent to go to their doctors and insist on a pill.

And then there's the whole other issue of what standards are being for "problematic." What level is truly too high for cholesterol? How long is too long for depression? The lower the bar, the faster the medication gets prescribed. If you don't think drug industry exerts pressure on those levels, you might want to take another pill, for naiveté.

My hope is that my father is not on these pills for long. His goal is to do what he can so that he doesn't need them. This may dismay certain forces, but so be it.

How many pills do you take? The answer ought to be: "Only as many as I need."

Sadly, that is not always -- or even often -- the case.

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