The Link Between Addiction And Advertising

addiction and advertising

Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars a year on the advertisement of prescription drugs which are designed to alleviate everything from erectile dysfunction to irritable bowel syndrome. On the other hand, popular forms of music and media such as rock and rap music, along with many films, often glorify drug usage. Some believe this has created a link between addiction and advertising.

No Real Difference Between Prescription And Illegal Drugs

While many people are aware of the dangers of drugs such as crystal meth or heroin, few realize that hundreds of thousands have died in the U.S. due to overdose on prescription drugs, which can be legally acquired from a doctor. Specifically, from 1999 to 2015 the CDC has reported that over 183,000 Americans died to overdose related to” legal” opioids.

When you consider these staggering statistics, it is clear that there isn’t much difference between the lethality and habit forming nature of legal drugs versus illegal drugs. The difference is that the pharmaceutical companies have the hundreds of millions needed to get FDA approval for their products while the drug dealer pushing crystal meth in the slums does not. The pharmaceutical companies also have the billions of dollars necessary to advertise their drugs in the media while also lobbying government officials in Washington D.C.

Popular Advertising Always Promotes Fast And Quick Treatments

Advertisements for medicine today typically promote them as fast and quick treatments to various problems. Doctors seem to be more interested in treating conditions as opposed to actually curing them, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and cancer still have no cure, despite billions being donated to research for decades.

Americans have been indoctrinated to believe that the solution to their problems can be found by swallowing a pill, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Solutions to life’s problems are rarely fast or quick. It usually takes a concerted and dedicated effort in order to overcome any challenge, whether it be losing weight, acne or chronic pain. It is a law of nature that bad things are almost always difficult to get rid of. Anyone offering you a solution that comes in a bottle should be regarded with great suspicion.

Drug Advertising In The U.S. Shows Tremendous Hypocrisy

There are two sides to the drug business. You have the illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and crystal meth, which have been highly publicized and which the DEA and law enforcement primarily focuses their attention. Then you have the legal prescription drugs, which are just as deadly and yet which are accepted with open arms by the government and largely ignored by law enforcement.

If prescription opioids have been responsible for the death of almost 200,000 Americans in about 16 years, why hasn’t the government, celebrities and other news outlets produced anti-drug campaigns urging Americans to stop using them? Why does the War on Drugs restrict itself exclusively to illegal drugs when statistics show prescription medications are just as hazardous?