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Research has it that most of the patients in the American population are on medication for more than the required time. Even when the time factor is not put into consideration most of the prescribed medications are not very necessary since there are other alternatives such non-drug therapies.

One would be quick to point a finger towards the physicians and doctors around. It is true that they have the knowledge on the rationale of prescribing medication, but this has very little to do with the overprescribing of medication. It takes combined efforts to tame this problem. From the physicians to the pharmaceutical representatives, to the pharmacists and more importantly to the patients, each one of us has a role to play in promoting such a practice.

Most patients look at drugs and associate them with their physical well-being. Most have a psychological perception that without the drugs they cannot get well. On the other hand, the doctors have become somewhat casual when it comes to putting into perspective the overall side effects of the overprescribed drugs. Many physicians also lack strategy and focus when they are prescribing medication. This sees most of the drugs over utilized and misused.

Pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies have a role to play. The overrated advertisements on drugs as the quick fix to all problems have contributed to the people’s ignorance and the doctors’ complacency. Everybody is looking for a quick fix this days and this is exactly what medication offer.

The consequences of this practice are dire. This is in particular reference to the well-being of the consumer. The side effects of many drugs tend to be ignored. Effects such as kidney or liver damage are real. Although these consequences may not be immediate, it important to put them into consideration. Take for instance the long term use of Asprin for headaches and as blood thinner puts one at a risk of getting Peptic Ulcer Disease. All these are avoidable. The overuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics have led to bacterial resistance and mutations that are making treatment of infectious diseases nearly impossible.
Overprescribing medication is an avoidable practice that can a go a long way in making the practice of medicine better. The purpose of the entire medical field should shift focus from treatment of diseases to preventive measures.

Doctors, on the other hand, should place more emphasis on non-drug treatment such diet management, exercise and total life changes. Such simple yet manageable measure go a long way in being long term solutions to most health issues.

Patients, on the other hand, should be more informed and should take initiatives to learn more about alternatives to taking medication and other measures they can adopt that will make their lives better. Staying healthy is more than just popping a pill more often than not.