As we start the countdown to a new decade, I have a question for you: why doesn’t the US media run comprehensive stories like this piece in The Guardian about our youth’s dangerous dependence on prescription drugs? Sure, there were a few short news stories noting that a plethora of legal drugs had been found in the bedroom of Brittany Murphy, the 32-year-old actress found dead in her home last week. But the mainstream media here seems averse to putting the pieces together, as The Guardian did, not only by pointing out that “prescription drugs are becoming America’s new addiction,” but examining why that is so.

Sure, a few bloggers (myself included) have tackled the subject. But as one of only two nations in the developed world that allow the pharmaceutical industry to advertise directly to consumers, perhaps it’s time to more widely re-examine our cavalier approach to popping pills. Brittany Murphy’s untimely death is one more poignant example of the truism: just because a doctor prescribes something does not mean it is safe, particularly when taken in combination with other powerful drugs. As one professor of clinical pharmacology noted in The Guardian piece: “Many of these people simply do not realize that all drugs – no matter how beneficial – are poisonous at some level.”

On another note, I’m taking a short break from blogging. Will be back Jan. 11.

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