The WaPo has an article on the increased use of sleeping pills, saying that consumers probably rely on them too much.
“We recommend that both the older and newer sleeping pills be taken more judiciously and less often than appears to be the current pattern of use by millions of people in the U.S.,” the report states. CR says increased pill usage is due to a “growing awareness of the health risks of insomnia and intense advertising and marketing to doctors,” as well as direct-to-consumer ads that “imply that medication is the best remedy for sleep problems.”
You don’t say? I could say the same thing for PPIs — why not try lifestyles changes, and then if that doesn’t work, move to an H2 blocker, and then reach for the PPI? Why go right for the Nexium?
Because going for the Nexium and Ambien is simply easier for an overworked doctor to do than help a patient make healthy lifestyle changes that might work just as well, and more permanently. Consumers like magic bullets, too, again because they’re easier. Take this, your problem will disappear. Easy. In the case of PPIs, they’re almost guaranteed to work. The classic case of using a bazooka to kill a gnat — always effective and usually always overkill.
This trend isn’t the healthiest, of course. Or the cheapest. Or the best. I think we’ll see a swinging away from this style of medicine over the next ten years. Insurers are beginning to realize that CBT is often less expensive in the long run than medicating someone ad infinitum.
[tags]Medicine, pharmacy, therapy, ambien, sleep[/tags]