There are some great aspects about American culture. Americans have traditionally been very exploratory and innovative people; we are known world-round for our creativity. But one troublesome aspect of the American cultural personality is that we tend to have this misconception that if something works, more of it will work better. This attitude, often pushed by marketing teams, can be a big problem when it comes to medicinal drugs.
How We Got Here
It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when England would punish convicted felons by transporting them to America. After a while, America made its name on the international stage for opulence. People weren’t just rich, they were keeping up with the Joneses. A person wasn’t really successful unless they could flaunt their achievements. In sports, movies, music, fashion, architecture, whatever, America became known as a place where the bigger something was, the better it was. Small community churches weren’t enough, we built megachurches. A blackjack table wasn’t big enough, we built entire cities devoted to gambling. It’s not enough to drive a golf car on a green course, we weren’t content until we drove one on the Moon!
Where It’s a Problem
There’s a lot of good that has come from our supersizing mentality, but a lot of bad results as well. One area is when it comes to medication. Many a Japanese tourist in America has been shocked by the dosage of pain medication—or worse caught unaware—and often will have to cut their Aspirins in halves or quarters so as not to take too much. Likewise, when you browse the medicine aisle in American stores, you’ll often see packages bragging about being the “maximum dosage”. We’ve gotten this idea in our heads that if a medicine is effective, more of it will be even more effective. For example, there’s a myth that taking vitamin C when you’re sick will make you better. It won’t, but that doesn’t stop marketers from pushing the idea that the more vitamin C you take, the sooner you’ll heal.
They make a lot of money off this myth, particularly because overdosing on vitamin C can cause diarrhea which will make you think it’s a symptom of the sickness, and cause you to take more vitamin C giving them more money.
Things can get really bad when we move from the common cold into the realm of extreme physical pain or depression. If a drug is working for a person, sometimes they’ll think they can just up the dose and it will work better. With opioids or other drugs that the body can become dependent on fast, this may feel like it makes some sense. Because as the body becomes dependent, it takes more of the medication to have the same effect, leading a person to think there’s a correlation between more of the drug and more potency. Unfortunately the consequences can be much worse than in the above vitamin C example
Please make sure to talk to your doctor about proper dosages, and follow their advice. And if you are taking opioids, call us for more information about medically supervised detox centers in Florida at (866) 653-6220.