Tag: Big Pharma

Banning Kratom Nationwide Will Be Deadly

Andrew Lepore | United States

Currently, The United States is in the midst of what many call an opioid crisis. People from all backgrounds are getting addicted to, and overdosing on, opium-derived substances (Prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl, and more) at record rates. Every 11 minutes, another individual dies from an opiate overdose. In fact, the United States leads the world in drug overdoses, and opiates cause the majority of these. But kratom, an ancient drug, may offer solutions. Continue reading “Banning Kratom Nationwide Will Be Deadly”

Advertisements

Ketamine Prohibition Across the Globe Has Deadly Effects

Ryan Lau | @RyanLau71R

For decades, the war on drugs has raged its way across the world, taking a particularly strong hold in America. With politicians from Reagan to Biden fathering policies that have incarcerated millions and killed many more, the world is beginning to see the disastrous effects of drug prohibition. For one thing, it actually can increase deaths from drug overdoses; when Portugal decriminalized all drugs, their addiction and overdose rates plummeted. But another drug, ketamine, offers solutions to the opioid crisis and many other medical problems.

Continue reading “Ketamine Prohibition Across the Globe Has Deadly Effects”

The U.S. Badly Needs Campaign Finance Reform

William Ramage | United States

Lack of campaign finance reform in the United States contradicts the very principles the United States was founded upon. Business and corporations indirectly control what Congress legislates. There are no laws preventing large corporations from funding federal campaigns. This results in policies of that candidate reflecting the interests of their corporate funders. They represent corporate interests rather than people. 

Take, for example, big pharma. Say they solely fund a senators campaign who wins the seat. The senator will then advocate for big pharma, possibly going against his constituency’s population and their needs. Often, big pharma will advocate price hikes on necessary drugs, turning healthcare into a business. With representative puppets, this is easy to accomplish. Lack of campaign finance reform leaves the door open for lobbying and corruption to occur. Hush money is also completely unethical, yet entirely legal. 

Campaign Finance Reform Furthers Democracy

As the Stormy Daniels affair showed, one who has more money will have a better chance of election. Simply put, he or she can cover up faults far easier. This is severely unethical as the voters will often have little idea who they are really voting for as these people can continue to cover up their dark pasts with money, and then be the face of Americans. This legal bribery greatly influences our elections and, incredibly, continues to be legal. It is unfathomable how the federal government views this as ethical as it directly influences the outcome of elections. After all, the people have the right to know who they are electing to represent, or govern the country.

Further laws fail to prevent the individual’s personal endeavors in various investment opportunities, creating yet another loophole, for the lawmaker’s personal gains. One can buy up tons of stock of a particular industry, deregulate the said industry, thus driving up the stock prices. Public office holders have the complete ability to change the legislation, potentially affecting thousands of people without their consent, in order to personally succeed. Thanks to the relaxed laws, all of this is completely legal. In this sense, our government’s design allows the upper class to maintain their elevated status at the expense of the working and lower classes.

A Move to Reject PACs

This is often overlooked by the general public, and is a persistent problem in our modern system of government. Despite the ability to get away with all of this in a completely legal manner, some new candidates have begun to pave the road towards a new future of campaigning controlled by the people. Grassroots campaigns and a rejection of PAC donations are beginning to voluntarily appear in various campaigns.

Political figures such as Beto O’Rourke, Ilhan Omar, and Dean Phillips are among dozens of progressive candidates who have pledged to reject corporate PACs. Despite the government’s open door, these candidates have taken the ethical route and it has paid off. This shows the true nature of the truest Americans as they refuse to take the apple from the snake. Instead, these candidates take the high road and fight for the correct way to hold office.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

Xanax Makes Doctors Rich and People More Anxious

Cassandra Twining | United States

Doctors in the United States write 50 million Xanax prescriptions per year. That’s over one prescription per second. You can buy 30 Xanax pills at your local pharmacy for on average $100. That amounts to five billion dollars being spent on Xanax every single year. But what exactly is Xanax and how does it work?

Xanax, also commonly known by its cheaper off-brand counterpart Alprazolam, is a Benzodiazepine. It is commonly used to treat general anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines are a specific category of drug that works in specific receptors in your brain. The Benzodiazepines, in this instance, Xanax, attaches to the gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA-A) receptors in your brain and diminish sensitivity to stimulation, which in turn produces the calming effect so many people love. Xanax is listed by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a schedule 4 drug. This essentially means that it is the second least likely to lead to addiction and it is very safe to take. At least according to their classification that is… So let’s look a little more into what exactly Xanax does to your brain along with the long term effects.

Treating anxiety disorders can be very difficult for some people because of the vast amount of kinds of ways anxiety can present itself. While Xanax is not the only option for treating anxiety medically, it is certainly the most commonly prescribed and most well-known option. There are 3 fundamental problems with Xanax and its long term effects on the brain.

Treating Symptoms, not Problems

The first problem being that Xanax doesn’t stop one’s anxiety, it merely numbs it. When the medication goes into the receptors in your brain and dims the sensation in the brain it effectively reduces the release of the chemicals in your brain that causes anxiety. However, the issue arises from the fact that a reduction of the release of the chemicals does not mean they go away, it just builds up.

This is why when people try to quit taking Xanax or the dosage they took wears off the anxiety feelings not only come back but comes back more forcefully. It’s essentially like sweeping dirt under a rug; it’s still there and it’s still going to affect you eventually. The problem is just continuing to build up and get worse.

This problem is enhanced by the second problem faced with Xanax: it has an incredibly short half-life. Meaning that the amount of time it takes for the drug to completely leave your system is really quick. Which makes people want to take more of the medication even when they’re not scheduled to because of the adverse effects that come when it wears off.

Xanax Addiction and Overdose

Both problems, in turn, contribute to the third and final problem that Xanax is highly addictive. Because of the short half-life, the increase in anxiety when it wears off, and the effectiveness of the drug, people quickly become both physically and emotionally dependant on Xanax as a treatment for their anxiety.

It is also very possible to overdose on Xanax, especially taken with other opioids or alcohol. In 2015 over 30,000 drug overdose deaths were the result of opioids mixed with benzos like Xanax. It is also important to note that these numbers of Xanax use are only those prescribed by doctors; Xanax is also a very commonly used recreational drug. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars from prescribing and encouraging the consumption of a drug that is continuing to increase the amounts of anxiety and addiction in our country.

Treating Anxiety

Nevertheless, anxiety is a very real and serious issue. So what can people do to change the current system for go to treatment options? A community health center in Louisville, Kentucky started to notice how the mass amounts of Xanax prescriptions for patients were not only dangerous but also a drain on their resources.

Because of the lack of education surrounding the long term effects of Xanax they were also spending an enormous amount of time just simply educating people about it. This is why they decided to switch to prescribing clonazepam a similar drug with less adverse long term effects. They are trying to completely wean their patients off of Xanax altogether. There are some people who do truly benefit from its effects. However, it is such a dangerous drug that the risk just doesn’t appear to continue to be worth it.

Non-prescription Treatments

Finally, there are a lot of ways to try and alleviate anxiety using natural methods of treatment. Exercising can release endorphins and be a cathartic experience that can help with anxious feelings. Meditation and relaxation exercises like slowly relaxing each muscle group and breathing techniques can also help. You can also try reading, writing, natural medical treatments, or anything you may feel will help.

It’s most important to remember that anxiety isn’t the same for everyone and what might work for you might not work for someone else. It takes hard work and bravery to evaluate your options and find the best course of treatment for you. It’s okay to not want to try modern medical solutions, and it’s okay to want to! What’s not okay is not having the full story of how these solutions actually affect you. Do your research and make sure you’re not just making the problem worse while trying to solve it.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

Bernie Would Slaughter

I really do not like Bernie Sanders. And I mean really.

As ferociously as I promote civil, well-reasoned, dispassionate political discourse, I admit that I have a hard time keeping my cool when the Vermont Senator is a part of the subject matter at hand.

Bernie Sanders politics are almost entirely antithetical to what I believe in. Even when we overlap, it tends to be for wildly different reasons.

In February, Sanders proposed legislation to allow Americans to purchase pharmaceuticals from abroad (it would eventually fail in the Senate). At the moment, many of these purchases are abridged or prohibited due to trade barriers that are in place thanks to lobbying from Big Pharma. The result of this protectionism is artificially high drug prices at home in the US. I imagine that Sanders wants to tear down these walls as a way to punish Big Pharma and because, in this instance, he feels there are benefits to permitting consumer choice.

I, on the other hand, believe that government has no business telling Americans what they can and cannot buy nor whom they can buy from, so Bernie Sanders’s seal of approval should be irrelevant. Free trade is a boom to economic growth and keeps prices low in general. Sanders thinks government should determine when to allow the free exchange of goods and services across national borders because big government knows best.

Beyond politics, I believe Bernie is a hypocrite, a horrendous role model, and a demagogic snake.

Sanders claims to stand for the working class and the poor, yet he owns three houses and has never had a real job. Instead of getting his hands dirty as a public school teacher, putting his life on the line as a fireman, or otherwise directly contributing to making the world a better place, Sanders has spent nearly four decades collecting a generous, tax-payer-funded paycheck in various positions of government. He earned over a million dollars in 2016.

I want to believe that to the general public of the United States of America, Bernie Sanders is as much of a joke as he is to me. I also want to believe that America could never fall for the manipulations and obfuscations of a weasley democratic socialist. Furthermore, I want to believe that Americans understand their rights and are aware of the devastation Sandersian policies have caused throughout the 20th Century. In fact, these same policies are on display now in Venezuela, and are failing again.

But I don’t.

I don’t believe any of those things intuitively, and I don’t believe them based on the available data.

The Mainstream Media, suffering from massive quantities of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, have compensated for their false assumptions and failed polling data by manufacturing fictions about Nazi uprisings and Russian meddling to explain Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

But the way I see it, the story is quite simple:

After 16 years of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the American people, especially lower-income Republicans and Progressives, were angry.

Republicans were angered by Bush’s complete failure to be a Conservative as well as his sending their children off to fight pointless, endless wars. They were angry at Obama for his Global-Citizen (as opposed to patriotic American) speeches, his palling around with people who ridicule them, and his policies and warmongering in general.

Progressives were angry at Bush for everything, and they were angry that Obama did not bring about the Utopia of “Hope and Change” they had been promised.

As a result of this anger, Trump’s populism won the GOP nomination, and Sanders’ populism came close to taking down the seemingly unbeatable Clinton machine.

In the general election, Trump and Clinton both lost sizeable shares of their parties. Aside from those, like Dennis Prager, who believe that Leftism is such a great danger to America that any Republican would suffice, or, in other words, aside from those who subscribe to the acceptance of the lesser-of-two-evils, Constitutional Conservatives, movement Conservatives, and Liberty-leaning Republicans refused to vote for Trump in droves. Some, like P.J. O’Rourke, preferred Clinton as the devil you know, some went for third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin, and some probably didn’t vote at all.

Clinton lost Progressives who couldn’t stomach her interventionism or support for multinational trade agreements, minorities who only voted for Obama because of his race, and some of the disappointed youth voters that Sanders had energized.

Likely most consequently, Clinton lost a chunk of white working class voters who supported Obama four and eight years earlier. These voters are fearful of traditionally Conservative economic policies that sometimes cost them their livelihoods, but also fear mass immigration for the same and other more tribal reasons. Moreover, these Americans are not persuaded by multiculturalism or hyper-progressive social initiatives like allowing children to choose which school restroom to use based on what gender they feel they are.

While it’s unlikely that Trump picked up many members of the first three demographics I mentioned, he got the working-class whites. By making immigration and trade reform his most prominent issues, by promising to leave Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid intact, and by saying he’d swap American interventionism for “America First,” Trump had put together a winning formula. He even managed to get one out of every ten Bernie Bros according to the available polling data and, to be fair, common sense.

But Trump is no lock to win again in 2020.

If Bernie Sanders decides to run again and wins the Democratic Primary in 2020, even if he’s 150 years old, he’ll beat Trump in an absolute landslide.

Bernie Sanders would bring together the automatic Democrats, the principled Progressives, the Obama minorities, the frustrated youth, and the white working class. Every left-leaning demographic that Hillary Clinton lost and every unprincipled demographic that Trump and Bernie agitated into the political sphere in 2016 would be Feeling the Bern.

Trump’s support would be reduced to automatic Republicans, anti-Progressive nationalists, Trump diehards, and those who feel that anything is better than Socialism. And that will not be enough to constitute a voting majority in the purple states.

The only thing that could derail a Sanders presidency if he decides to run for and wins the DNC nomination (neither of which are guarantees) would be a Jill Stein from the other side. In other words, if the Democratic Party were fractured by an insurgent anti-Sanders group, it could peel away enough voters to give Trump the edge.

What kind of insurgency would this be? I imagine a third-way feminist revolt. Sanders and his supporters were smeared as sexists from within their own party during and after the last election, and this tactic will be used again. If some on the left are too committed to getting a woman or minority into office, Trump will have a shot at beating Bernie.

I write none of this in celebration. There is no glee in these words. But I am committed to telling what I believe to be the truth. And the truth is that the America our Founding Fathers fought and died for is seldom persuasive to a voting majority of human beings in America or anywhere else around the world.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

***

Image Source DonKeyHotey on Flickr

If you enjoyed this post, please follow me at www.howtocureyourliberalism.com. Also check out my podcast on iTunes and like my Facebook page.