Pill pushers

It’s official. This country has a drug problem.

According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, a staggering 70 percent of Americans currently take at least one prescription drug. That’s a significant jump from the already shocking 48 percent of Americans who were on medication just five years ago.

Here’s a little breakdown of these findings…

Antibiotics were the most prescribed drug, accounting for 17 percent of all prescriptions. (And we wonder why antibiotic resistance has become such a big problem.)

Second and third on this list were antidepressants and opioids–accounting for 13 percent of prescriptions each. Blood pressure drugs showed up in fourth place. And vaccines took fifth place.

Women tended to be prescribed more drugs than men. And drug use tended to increase with age.

Vaccines, antibiotics, and asthma drugs were most popular among children under 19. Heart drugs were most popular among the older set. And painkillers and antidepressants were most popular among middle-aged adults.

In fact, almost one in four women between the ages of 50 and 64 were taking an antidepressant.

Talk about depressing. Actually, these numbers are just plain stomach turning.

No doubt this country has gotten sicker. We eat too much. We move too little. And no one seems to want to put in the hard work it takes to get better.

But by now it should be clear that prescription drugs really aren’t making us healthier. They’re just making Big Pharma richer.

Mayo Clinic. “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are on prescription drugs.” ScienceDaily, 19 Jun. 2013. Web. 20 Jun. 2013.