Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drug Talk

Today's Bizarro is brought to you by Maskital.

I like this cartoon for what it says about pharmaceuticals and western medicine. I'm not against all prescription drugs, I take a crazy pill to keep me level (antidepressant) and in spite of my several attempts to switch to natural alternatives and live without it, I've had to resign myself to the synthetic.

But the biggest downfall of western medicine is that it tends to treat symptoms more than root causes. This reflects human nature in general, of course – most people would rather take drugs to deal with their cholesterol than change their diet and get some exercise. (One of the popular cholesterol-reducing drugs says on their ads: "When diet and exercise aren't enough." That would account for such a small fraction of the public that I can't help but believe the slogan is there just to give people the excuse to take the drug instead of changing their diet.) Same with erectile dsyfunction, diabetes, heart disease etc. In fact, tens of thousands of Americans each year opt for heart surgery over changing their lifestyle. Wow.

I've said many times here before, veganism (as opposed to vegetarianism) cures so many of these ills that if everyone ate that way it would put big pharm nearly out of business. But to suggest such a radical, "fringe" diet to the public would be absurd! It's much less extreme to ask people to fill their bodies with chemicals than with plants. Makes perfect sense.

As for myself, I try my best to keep the root causes at bay and take as few drugs as possible. I haven't taken an antibiotic for more than ten years, I think, and the only Rx I've taken in that amount of time has been my crazy pills. Part of that is luck, of course, but a lot is lifestyle. Still, I'm not immune to the concept of masking the symptom rather than attacking the cause. I suffer from allergies and opt to take over-the-counter drugs rather than clear the city of the offending plants, for instance. I also suffer from an occasional lack of whooziness, so I sniff glue. But it's prescription glue, so it's totally safe.



Anonymous said...


Anna Banana said...

This one hit home for me. Also the placebo one that's in my paper today. Our just barely 18 yr old son is in crisis, and we've had to beg the dr to try alternatives to drugs. Of course our son would rather have a magic pill. And maybe he really needs one, but we want it to be a last resort. In the meantime, we're going to try bio and neuro feedback. Talk about placebo effect, but sometimes it works.

FIDO said...

It's such a great feeling for Dan and his fans to accept me and give me a place to blog.

i appreciate my long letters and talks with blog member jeremy. Who spoke to me on phone last night for hours about family .

As most of you may know my grandpa or as they say in french pepere possesses a virgin ass

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this is something everyones avoiding, but I just wanted to comment that resorting to Veganism to deal with our general dietary woes is like using a tomahawk* missile to swat a fly.

*I had to do some research here; my original version was 'a Minuteman II' but that was a bit far for hyperbole.

As to the actual subject, you have to be really careful of this, especially in the realms of true mental/physical disease.

One harkens back to the religious nutjobs who refuse to give their children much needed medication when they're sick, in a few famous cases leading to the childs death. The effect with the mentally ill is less dramatic/obvoius, but nearly as serious. A tendency we often see with mentally ill people is a disinclination to take needed/effective medication for their disorders.

The classic example of the above is the schizophrenic who goes off their meds each time they get out of a treatment center, which of course makes them decompensate, which leads them to have to go back to the hospital. Less damaging, but more annoying is the case of the 'awful depressive who'd rather complain than get help'.

I understand where you're coming from, but I'm not sure I agree with your actual point. It feels bad to take meds, and most people hate it. Doctors sometimes over-rely on medication, and thats a problem. I think often people just go along with whatever the doctor says, and assumes its the best way.

John Radke said...

"I've said many times here before, veganism (as opposed to vegetarianism) cures so many of these ills that if everyone ate that way it would put big pharm nearly out of business."

I would love to see the evidence for this. This is an extraordinary claim, and as such requires some pretty convincing scientific evidence.

Anonymous said...

Brace yourselves, John and Wyndsagio. The mindless drones that defend Dan's every fart will be coming after you momentarily.

John Radke said...

@julie - I hope not. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. There have been plenty of similarly extravagant claims throughout the history of science - say, evolution via natural selection, or germ theory - that initially defy common sense and yet are much more palatable once the evidence in their favor stacks up. I expect the same of veganism, if indeed the (scientific, peer-reviewed, statistically significant) evidence is there.

Penny Mitchell said...

That gentleman in the "'fringe' diet" photo has screaming rosacea, which is best treated by a Western Rx.

I do agree that Western medicine definitely skews towards "quick, easy fix" but not all of it is bad/evil.

I do think everyone should go veg, though. ;-)

Elena said...

Hey pal!! where do you think drugs come from???? well, plants, obiously!!! gosh...ignorants!!

Just kidding.

I think you make a good point. I believe you don't mean that taking any kind of drug in any dose is bad for you, that would be denying years of investigation and the work of many people who have studied in that efect.

But it is true that sometimes we rely too much in medicine and don't considere alternative treatements.

Is also true that doctors do the same, but in a much larger extenct. Their work in many cases has become merely prescribing meds. A teacher once told me that while woking in a small emergency room, the doctor was so tired and wanted to go home, that made a bunch of kids who were waiting, come into the office and just prescribed some drug, without even looking at them. (many times small kids gete the same desise while playing and so, but, anyway...)

I really liked this strip. It has great wit and sarcasm. It sends the message

Janta said...

Dear John

Here you go:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Their magazine Good Medizine

Their Cancer Project (do a search on their site for "vegan")

Happy researching :)

Janta said...

Hi John again

Here's another good site (followed a link from PCRM):

The article provides proper referencing of the research it is based on, which is what I presume you were asking for. The info is out there, if you are serious about wanting to see it ;)

Unknown said...

I liked the cartoon. I LOVED the blog. First the glue comment, then the guy with the lightening bolt. I nearly fell offa my chair, laughing.

I've always enjoyed your humor, Dan. I just wish some of the jerkoffs who use YOUR blog site to get on their soap boxes would just go get their own place to yammer. I guess they're just not clever enough to figure out how to do that though.

Anonymous said...

Y'know what would be even COOLER, Francine? If some of the jerkoffs who use this country to get on their soap boxes found their own country to yammer!

Now back to your jerking off Dan.

Anonymous said...

If Dan didn't want to hear both the positive and negative he would disable the comments on this blog. So get over yourself, Francine.

Piraro said...

Thanks for all these comments, good points made by all.

I don't mean to say that all medication is bad, far from it. But I think that as a society we take way too many meds for things that a more natural, healthy diet and a tiny amount of exercise would fix. You'd be amazed at how true and simple this really is. We pollute ourselves with crappy "food," sit around letting our bodies atrophy, then rely on drugs and surgery to fix it. Remove the cause, no need for the cure.

I was going to suggest, too, but Tanja beat me to it. The site is run by physicians nationwide.

FIDO said...

Francine is right on the money about these loser bloggers who need to find their own spot to blog its pathetic

as most of you may know my grandpa or as they say in french pepere possesses a virgin ass

the other day i picked up my frail grandpa from off the toilet and sat him on the sink..

i had a credit card bill on the sink that i placed my peperes ass on

anyways after i took him off the sink the bill stuck to his ass...

after removing the bill i discovered a round bum spot that im calling my peperes original

it will go for $550-$850 a pop

Jodie said...

I rely on several "crazy" pills. I am slowly getting over my phobia of telling people that I'm bipolar. It still brings up many negative connotations in people's minds. I'm definitely in favor of minimizing the drugs I take. If for no other reason, that the huge cost... even with my excellent employer subsidized insurance (which I hope they will not decide to tax). Keep on blogging!!! I'm now enjoying it as much as your cartoons. I even reconized your head in the one this past Sunday. It made was like a secret clue to anyone that's seen your photo!

doug nicodemus said...

i have my own blog, actually i have two so i get to say what ever i want to there.

but as a watcher of dan's cartoons for years i gota say his diet is sound, his humor is clear and his politics are superb..righto keep up the good work

(cartoon today not so funny but heh if the baseball guys batted 900 we'd all be amazed)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll say this much for you, Doug - at least you'll admit when you don't find a Bizarro funny. Most of the other bloggers that frequent these comments would never think of doing that.