We live in a society of drugs. The Mayo Clinic reports that 70% of the US population takes at least one prescription medication. Over the counter drugs? We make about 3 billion trips to the store each year to buy them.
I got curious one day and started asking our patients, “Do you know how drugs work?” No one had a single answer.
So, since there’s a 70% chance that you are taking drugs, it might be useful for you to know a bit about how they work.
A drug gets in between the intelligence that operates your body for you and your physical body and forces certain things to occur:
BODY INTELLIGENCE –> DRUG –> BODY FUNCTIONS
This can work well, or it can be a disaster. Drugs are a lot like auto-correct on your phone:
The auto-correct is IN BETWEEN you (the intelligence) and the final text. You lose control of what you intended to say. But unlike auto-correct, your body doesn’t have the luxury of being able to catch the error and fix it. It must live with the mistake.
The main problem with drugs is that they take the control away from the intelligence that is responsible for the operation and maintenance of your body. Drugs grab the wheel away from your body, and you may or may not stay on the road.
When I was 15, I got a summer job as a “worker” at a camp in the Missouri Ozarks. It sounded fun, until I found out that the “workers” were tasked with installing a 100-yard long water pipe out to a new bathhouse. We were given shovels, picks and it was recommended that we drink plenty of water. A good idea as the temperature was in the high 90’s under a broiling sun. Halfway through my second day, the boss hailed us and asked, “Anyone know how to fix a tractor?” Everyone looked at each other, wishing oh-so-much that tractor mechanic was on their resume to get them out of the sun. I considered myself to be mechanically minded (though cocky would be closer to the truth) and raised my hand.
It was an old, red farm tractor and it wouldn’t start. I proceeded to remove the starter motor from the engine and disassemble it (in a nice and shady workshop, by the way). I don’t recall the exact problem, but it must have been simple as I was able to repair the starter and fix the tractor. This got me a whole string of fix-it jobs and kept me off the ditch-digging project for the remainder of the week.
Let me take you back to that moment when I first put a wrench on the bolts holding the starter motor to the tractor: I was one worried kid. Honestly, I’d never even been close to a farm tractor. I wasn’t experienced as a car mechanic; I’d barely worked on bicycles. I knew that once I started taking parts off that tractor that I wasn’t certain what would happen, and I just hoped for the best.
This experience of “hope for the best” is familiar to medical doctors. Let’s explore why this is true.
Despite all the hype, bluster and news stories of scientific marvels, no one remotely understands how a human body works. I think we are fooled by the tremendous advances of knowledge we’ve had into imagining we know much more than we do, because in reality we haven’t scratched the surface.
A body, like any other organism, is a physical structure controlled by a living intelligence. Right there, we’re in deep trouble. What’s an intelligence? Where did it come from? How does it work? How does it decide what to do in the operation and repair of the organism? Almost all the current answers to these questions are in the area of philosophy, not science. If you look back at the history of any science, there was a time before it became a science when it was a philosophy (astronomy, for example). This tells you we are in the stone age of understanding regarding intelligence.
So, with no understanding of intelligence but with the technology of drugs, we’re able to take control away from the body and force actions and changes to occur, but we don’t really know what we’re doing. Thus, the same drug that creates a near miracle in one patient can kill the next one.
We are missing an entire area of the technology we need to make drugs safe and effective: The ability to work WITH the intelligence running the body rather than bypassing it. Therefore, doctors “hope for the best” and put you on one drug after another, rolling the dice with every prescription.
There is a good comparison between my tractor repair and your doctor’s prescriptions: we both were hoping for the best.
I think good advice would be:
- Only take drugs as a last resort and get off them as quickly as possible.
- Take responsibility for your own health and thoroughly research any drug before you start it.
- (Should be #1) Work to have a healthy body that doesn’t need drugs to start with.
Here’s hoping for the best!