As much as I can't stomach the Big Pharma marketing machine, I will say this: It's brutally effective.
Who else could get doctors across the nation to prescribe a med for an off-label use, despite evidence that it's completely ineffective – and then get the media to write a positive story about it?
Yet that's exactly what you'll find on the Web site of Time magazine, which recently featured a glowing report about a muscle spasm med, with some nasty side effects of its own, being used to treat alcoholics, smokers and drug addicts.
The article begins with several hundred words of uninterrupted praise before it gets to the kicker: There is no scientific evidence that this drug works for addicts.
No one can even say why people are taking this drug for addiction, beyond anecdotal evidence and a book someone wrote about how this drug helped him.
The closest they can come to real evidence is a study where smokers taking this drug were able to cut down from 20.5 cigarettes per day to 8, while the placebo group was only able to cut back to 12.
Call me unimpressed.
You don't treat addiction with a pill or gimmick. You treat addiction by treating the addict, and the specific conditions in his or her body (or life) that have led to the addiction.
Sure, it can be hard – it wouldn't be an addiction if you could break away from it easily. But addictions can be overcome naturally, safely and effectively, and doctors should work with their patients to make sure they do it right, not under the influence of a med with dangers of its own.
In fact, this drug has side effects that include drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, headaches, nausea, constipation and impaired thinking.
Can you think of anything else that can cause those reactions?
And when people stop taking this drug, they face withdrawal symptoms including hallucinations and seizures.
In other words, this med is just about as bad as many of the substances that cause addiction.
Not only that, but this replacement addiction becomes a permanent one – the Time article suggests that addicts who have had success using this off-label med to control their cravings have to keep taking it, forever, or the urges return.
Let's stop fooling around with this stuff. Big Pharma wants us to have a med for every condition, but replacing one addiction with another is not the right move.
Instead, treat yourself naturally and safely – and you'll avoid a lifetime of addiction and a lifetime of meds, too.