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Why Do People Prefer to Pop Drugs/Pills Rather Than Change a Lifestyle Essay

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

The rising standards of living have led to too much suffering in the contemporary world. On the other hand, health standards have gradually declined and are at their lowest. This can be confirmed with a visit to any hospital across the world. While the poor suffer from diseases of deprivation, the rich are suffering from diseases brought about by excess. The poor are suffering from malnutrition, diseases brought about by unhygienic living conditions and blindness. The rich suffer from diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, obesity and its related health consequences, septicaemia, et cetera. As indicated, both social groups are affected by their poor lifestyle. It is because of such poor lifestyles that have resulted in the culture of pill-popping. The poor want to supplement themselves with dietary pills to avoid cases of malnutrition while the rich, take pills such as statins and pioglitazone to reduce the occurrence of the aforementioned degenerative diseases.

It is difficult to explain why people have opted to pop pills/drugs instead of adopting healthy lifestyles that do not cost anything. The people are gobbling down painkillers, antibiotics, and antidepressants as if they were gobbling sweets. As a result, most people have died in the recent past due to this routine of taking legal drugs. Prescription can either be self-prescription or prescription by a doctor. All in all, it does not matter; a healthy lifestyle can be synonymous with the phrase, “a stitch in time saves nine.”

Most individuals use lifestyle drugs as a means to alleviate symptoms, moods, and behaviors that are a result of a poor lifestyle. Drug companies have been on the forefront encouraging people to use drugs as an amicable way of addressing problems. Unfortunately according to Horvitz 2009 (cited in Edlin & Golanty 369), the probability that fear and anxiety, which triggers the voracious and profitable popping of pills/ drugs, will subside is very minimal. Therefore, adopting a healthy lifestyle compared with popping pills remains to be a huge challenge in promoting proper general health. All in all, a healthy lifestyle is responsible for all the magic associated with good health and improved quality of life.

There is an array of reasons as to why people will continuously prefer to pop drugs than change lifestyle but, all these narrows down to the freedom to do whatever one wants without having to worry about the consequences. According to Maxine Frith in his article “Britain: The sick heart of Europe,” heart disease, which is easily preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle results in very large health costs every year (approximately 29 billion pounds). As compared with choosing a healthy lifestyle, the UK population has preferred an approach characterized by intake of drugs and pills as depicted by the high financial burden of cardiovascular disease used to incur costs for drugs to meet the needs of the people (Tinsley para 10-15).

It has been found that statins greatly cut down the risk of one developing a heart attack by 30%. Unfortunately, this has become the norm as more people pop pills to control their cardiovascular diseases instead of changing their lifestyles. According to Keith Jackson, managing one’s diet and having an appropriate physical activity schedule is a better way of managing the disease. According to Keith, statins are not a better alternative and should not be perceived as a fallback. The best measure to take up as far as cardiovascular diseases are concerned is to adopt a healthy lifestyle hence, preventing the occurrence of these heart diseases (Frith para 14). Prevention has always been better than cure as it cuts health costs and reduces reliance on pills/drugs.

Nowadays, the curative approach seems to be the best health choice because people are very prompt to seek medication once they fall ill yet they fail to take the initiative necessary to prevent the occurrence of disease. This is the reason why the disease has overtaken everything else and as a result, quick solutions are being sought. When someone experiences a headache, the main and most immediate response is usually to pop in a pain-killer into their mouth. The headache dies away for a specific duration and then resumes. Each time an individual suppresses this pain with a pain killer, the recurrence of the headache is worse and without giving a thought to it, the individual carries on with his/her lifestyle behavior, eating all the wrong kinds of foods.

A healthy lifestyle mainly entails eating healthy foods and maintaining an activity level that is commensurate with what one consumes, as well as developing appropriate stress coping mechanisms. Other than sick people, healthy people are also taking prescription drugs. An example is with people who have cholesterol levels of 115 being asked to take a statin. This would not be the best option because any drug, be it preventive or curative is associated with side effects. In addition, drugs are chemicals that should be continuously washed out thus; taking in drugs is also associated with overloading body organs. It is unfortunate that popping pills have been considered as the solution to one’s lifestyle problems since individuals practice unhealthy lifestyles all in the name that popping a pill will resolve it. That is why popping a pill has become much easier, but the truth is that it is not the best practice to adopt (Ashley para 7).

Exercise is very important for good health. Some of the drugs that people take can be avoided by a personal exercise prescription. The launch of the weight control pill Alli by Glaxo Smithkline has resulted in poor eating habits hence, exposing individuals to the danger of disease. This is because individuals engage in binge eating and subsequently pop the pill to counteract the effects of this poor eating habit. However, one thing that individuals fail to realize is that there is not a single pill that is safe when used for an overly long time or when abused (Wanjek para 1-5).

The best step to take is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to people’s perception that a healthy lifestyle is the same as a restricted lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle is associated with improvement in the general quality of life. In the case of weight loss, it does not mean that one is meant to spend endless hours in the gym. Instead, it only dictates a quality lifestyle characterized by engaging in activities that are equivalent to foods consumed. In the case of weight loss, healthy eating and a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure have adequate effects as far as weight loss is concerned.

Despite the frequent and numerous efforts by health practitioners on positive living behaviors to promote a healthy lifestyle, people still find it easier to pop a pill. This is because as earlier indicated; a healthy lifestyle is perceived to mean a restricted lifestyle hence, depriving one of their need and desire to enjoy their lives. A lifestyle change however demands various elements that should be incorporated or deducted from the normal thus, it is necessary to make some modifications to one’s current lifestyle. Apparently, it appears that popping a pill/drug is the easiest and most convenient thing to do but, it is much more expensive not only in terms of money but also in terms of one’s health as well.

The difficulty associated with changing lifestyles results in dependence on pills to help alleviate the effects of various habits and lifestyles. Changing lifestyle is rather challenging for some individuals because it entails discipline and control but this is trivial compared with the consequences of not having this discipline and control. Most of these diseases like the heart diseases and diabetes are lifestyle diseases which are prevented by embracing the correct lifestyle. In 2002, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) conducted a three-year randomized study on diabetes with regard to lifestyle and pills. Results from the study indicated that a change in lifestyle reduced the risk of diabetes by 58%. On the other hand, metformin accounted for 31% reduced risk (Edlin & Golanty 369-371).

Doctors realize the importance of diet and exercise in treatment of these lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Unfortunately, they are not committed to ensuring that the patients stay on the recommended diet and exercise regimen. In the case of diabetes, patients are taking in various forms of drugs to help reduce the associated risk. However, all this narrows down to the eventual use of insulin because irrespective of seeking an easier way out through popping pills, lifestyle change is the most effective and efficient practice (Wanjek para 1-5).

In conclusion, it is evident that people’s lifestyle have forced them to seek measures necessary to counteract the effects of poor lifestyles. One such measure is the pill popping culture compared with changing lifestyle. As always, the best approach is always preventative without use of drugs, which only intoxicate the body and overburden the body organs. Various people have various reasons why they choose to pop a pill rather than adopt a healthy lifestyle but, the bottom line is that people do not want to be deprived of certain elements in life. What such persons are not aware is that they are hastening their ways to the grave. There is no debate about it, adopting a healthy lifestyle is and will always be the best mechanism through which diseases can be prevented.

Works cited

Ashley, Jackie. Richer but less happy, we are now a pill-popping people. The Guardian, 2008. Web.

Edlin, Gordon and Golanty, Eric. Health and Wellness. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2010.

Frith, Maxine. Britain: The sick heart of Europe. The Independent, 2006. Web.

Tinsley, Becky. Two ways of Loving and Leaving. The Telegraph, 2011. Web.

Wanjek, C. Diet and Exercise Trump Diabetic Drugs. Live Science, 2010. Web.

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