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by Frank Shortt
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Fake cures in the pharmaceutical world are nothing new! From the earliest times mankind has pretended to have cures for every known
ailment and disease. Many people have died as a result of trusting themselves to quacks!
In the early days of the west traveling medicine
shows were the norm in many towns and settlements. They were a source of ready entertainment, costing nothing to attend. Most of these
shows were from the back of a fairly ornamented, enclosed wagon with a portable small stage that could be let down and spread out
to accommodate the performers. Some of these shows included the practice of blackface comedians who poked fun at each other in the
often mistaken dialect of black Americans. The wagon inside housed the patent medicines, the only income of the shows, and costumes
and instruments used by the performers. Many of these shows included dancing girls, or a dancing girl, singers of western ballads
popular at the time, and maybe a couple of men singing harmony acapella. Most towns were so hungry for entertainment after slaving
all week on farms and ranches that they didn't mind paying a dollar a bottle for the cure-all. Most patent medicines were a mixture
of some palatable herb and the rest of the bottle was filled with corn liquor. Most of the takers with arthritis, skin ailments, stomach
pains, and other diseases imagined or otherwise, surely did receive a temporary cure until the hangover wore off.
The # one pain killer
in the world, supposedly the wonder drug of the century for killing pain, has come under fire by watchdogs of the pharmaceutical industry.
As did the old patent medicines with their high content of alcohol seemingly relieve pain, so was the claim of the greatest pain killer
of all times. It is now alleged that this # one painkiller does not relieve pain for 12 hours as prescribed, but most times requires
higher dosages which could lead to overdose and addiction. This is only one example of a pharmaceutical company helping to cause the
opioid crises in the United States. Are the pharmaceutical companies to blame, the doctors that prescribe these addictive drugs, or
is it the users themselves who are to blame. Has life in the U.S. become so difficult that opioid users must have something to deaden
the pain 24/7? It seems that we have become a generation of complainers and Hypochondriacs! Even with all the time we spend on our
devices, we still find time to imagine all the things that are wrong with us! We can only overcome these imagined diseases with all
the pharmaceuticals in ads that are thrown at us by the purveyors of medicines for every disease known to mankind. Are most of these
remedies only 'sugar pills'?
The poor consumer is at the mercy of Wall Street, doctors, and the pharmaceutical companies.
As a child
in the mountains of Virginia, when we had a cut on our bodies, a leaf of tobacco was applied to the affected part, stinging like the
devil, but eventually deadening the pain, stopping the blood, and beginning the healing process. These wounds were bound with old
unused baby diapers (washed of course) but seemingly not killing as many people as do modern hospitals that are supposed to be totally
sterile! Vicks Vaporub was the accepted remedy for chapping and burning skin. It too stung as it was being applied, but the eucalyptus
and camphor soon did its job! It is still being recommended by the makers for being a cure for many ailments. When whooping cough
hit our community as a major crisis, dad (a teetotaler) went to an old man (cousin of his) in the mountains and purchased a quart
of pure corn liquor. As did his mother before him, he mixed a brew consisting of Golden Seal, rock candy, Ginseng, honey, and corn
liquor and gave it to his children a couple of times a day. (Grandma was from Irish descent). What did not kill us made us fat and
cured the whooping cough! Dad's kids were over the cough many days before most of the other kids in the surrounding area. This concoction
was used for any cough or stuffiness if the user could get their breath after taking it. Any stomach ailment was cured with Castor
Oil, or some concoction of fish oil. I only saw a doctor one time in my life and that was when I had bleeding pinkeye. I was delivered
by a midwife.
What does all this have to do with the opioid crisis in America? Do we need all the medicines that Pharmaceutical Companies
tell us we just have to have? Panic, hysteria, undone nerves, stress caused by too much information, graphic movies and television,
over use of phones and internet has caused more of an opioid crises in America than all the drugs that can be smuggled into our country
by drug cartels in the Latin American countries. Of course, they are not helping the matter any by their insistence!