8/19/2017

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Legal Drugs

"America spends a fortune on drugs: more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations."
~Robert Reich~

Nearly everyone uses drugs of some sort for one reason or another from the time they are born until they die. If you look around your home or apartment on any given day, more than likely, you will find an assortment of drugs and intoxicants used for any number of ailments or for recreational purposes.

The drug industry is gigantic and encompasses nearly every aspect of life. You would be hard pressed to find any area of human existence that does not include drugs as a major component.

Billions of dollars are spent on drugs each year in the United States alone. This includes drugs that are approved (legal) by the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration and enforced by law and those that are not approved (illegal). As scientific research uncovers more and more drug related treatments and cures for diseases, that dollar amount is sure to increase.

On June 30, 1906, the United States government established the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee the safety of food and drugs that are grown, manufactured, and sold in the United States along with those that are imported from other countries.

Up to that time, anyone could create a concoction and peddle it as a cure all drug without regards to the necessary scientific research. Some of the drugs had very little, if any, medicinal properties and were often detrimental to the health and well being of the people who took them, often causing irreversible mental or physical harm or, in many cases, death.

In the United States, all drugs are considered unsafe until they are studied and approved by the FDA. The FDA is empowered to do extensive research and clinical trials on drugs before they are allowed to be sold in the public domain.

An approval by the FDA may cost the company that wants to sell a particular drug that it is trying to put on the market many years of research and clinical trials and millions of dollars in costs. Even if the drug is approved, the FDA will still monitor its use in the general population for years to make sure that it is safe and there are no long term negative effects. For this reason, new drugs that come on the market are initially very expensive.

When the word "drugs" is mentioned though, most people think of illegal drugs that are sold on the streets, but in fact, most drugs are sold and used legally for medical or aesthetic purposes.

Legal drugs are those that are used as medicines or purchased solely as intoxicants such as alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and marijuana, which has been legalized in certain states.

Legal drugs: Drugs are deemed legal if they are:
(1) used for the purposes in which they are intended;
(2) used in accordance with federal law enforcement guidelines;
(3) used in a controlled environment as medicine or for other medical procedures;
(4) deemed to be either safe enough to be purchased from pharmacies, supermarkets, liquor stores, and other establishments;
(5) or prescribed by a doctor, dentist, or other medical professional under FDA guidelines.

Drugs are categorized by many standards ranging from cold remedies, rubbing alcohol, treatments for toothaches, and other ailments that are sold over the counter in pharmacies, supermarkets and corner stores to more potent drugs that are used in hospitals and other medical facilities to combat diseases and other ailments that cannot be cured with over the counter medications.

Legal drugs are used to treat all types of diseases, aches and pains, and other ailments. If used wisely, they help people live healthier, longer, and more productive lives. Most are safe if used in the amounts that are prescribed and more importantly, for the purposes for which they are made.

Based on studies conducted by medical and scientific communities, drugs that are considered harmful for human use may have their designation changed to legal if they are deemed to provide positive benefits in one form or another or if they are chemically altered to provide safe usage.

On the other hand, drugs that are considered safe, if determined to be detrimental to the health and welfare of humans, can be taken off the market and designated inappropriate for human use. This is often the case when medications are pulled from store shelves and the public is warned not to continue using them.

Drug companies are required by federal mandates to rigorously test and file data with the FDA based on the results of their findings. This is to insure short and long term public safety standards.

Although certain drugs fall in the legal category, they are inherently dangerous and should not be used unless prescribed by a doctor or other medical professional and they should only be used as prescribed because many legal drugs are very addictive and pose a grave threat to the health and weltering of those who take them.

Tobacco and alcohol: Tobacco products, although legal and readily available almost everywhere, are some of the most dangerous drugs in the world. They cause a variety of deadly health risks such as lung disease, strokes, heart disease, COPD, diabetes, birth defects, several types of cancer.

Alcohol consumption is also legal in most countries but is a very unhealthy habit to pick up. Alcoholism causes cirrhosis of the liver, anemia, pancreatitis, dementia, seizures, high blood pressure, gastritis, and other diseases.

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