I was told that a man fainted at our church last Sunday. He was taken to a nearby hospital. I asked what happened and the first comment suggested that there might have been some issue with his medications.

  • First, let’s call them what they are – his DRUGS, not medications.
  • Second, let’s all realize that we’re being drugged at an alarming rate. Too many of us are taking too many drugs, and I suspect a majority of them are unnecessary and harmful – especially when combined.

I tell this story too often. Here it is again.

In pharmacy school, we were taught that a person taking three different drugs has about an 80% risk of drug interaction. That risk increased to 100% when the number of drugs increased to five. Today, the average person consumes approximately 10 different drugs every day. If that’s the average, and some people take none,  there are again too many people taking huge quantities of drugs.

Too many drugs are bad for those who consume them. Worse, yet, they are bad for those of us who don’t take them.

Why? Once swallowed, a drug does not just disappear. It, or some of its metabolic by-products, will be excreted and end up in our common water supply. When a woman swallows a birth control pill, or someone (even your pet cat) takes an antidepressant, they unintentionally contaminate the rest of us when they use the toilet. Drugs and metabolites don’t always “break down” as we’d like to believe. They can remain active for years, while more is being added with each flush. Not only do we drink the contaminated water, but we feed our animals. The contaminants can then move through our food supply.

These aren’t just hair-brained ideas or science fiction. The evidence is growing and the government is even beginning to enforce tighter drinking water standards. This only means the regulators are still working on the problem – not that it is less important because the implementation is years away.

There two basic approaches to cleaner water; filtration is obvious and it will cost all of us. Those filters aren’t free. The other is for everyone to STOP using so darn many many drugs. This would cost the drug makers some of their profits, but we’d be spending less. Which would you prefer?