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Beware of getting addicted to every pill

People believe that there is a pill for every ill under the sky. Most of the non-prescribed over the counter drugs like analgesics, nasal decongestants, laxatives, cold and cough remedies (even some herbal preparations) are quite addictive because they produce the very symptoms they are expected to cure if they are used regularly. Addiction to prescribed drugs like antibiotics, tranquilisers, anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone pills and steroids are habit forming. They have severe side effects, their withdrawal symptoms are more often than not difficult to cure. Except that they instantly give relief during the initial stages, they seldom cure the original complaint.


Steroids are largely prescribed for Athma. Without any doubt we cannot find a single asthmatic who has not been taking steroids to relieve distressful breathing. Even very young children are not spared by some general practitioners because it comes handy in emergencies and they have a dramatic effect on the patients condition. They are injected either intravenously or intramuscularly into the body for the quickest relief. They are also given orally. These are more dangerous. Manufactures of these drugs give clear instructions and warnings about the reaction of these drugs in spite of which more people fall prey to steroids.

Psychological and physiological addiction

The psychological dependence on steroids does not allow the sufferer to withdraw the drug easily. Because it worked the first time, the asthmatic believes it will work every time. Steroids are also being widely prescribed for arthritis. Unless steroids are withdrawn gradually, they cause severe to very severe side effects like frequent bouts of hiccups for weeks together, fluid retention, bloating of face and body, depression, excess sleepiness or the other extreme insomnia, etc. Steroids do not strike at the cause of asthma or arthritis. Moreover they also depress the body’s ability to produce its own supply o hormones to prevent these diseases and keep the body fit.

Wrong aim for the right cause

Antibiotic is another drug common man increasingly depends upon. A sore throat and mild cough due to common cold are enough reasons for him to get hold of antibiotics. Common cold is not a disease to be feared. It is nature’s way of expelling the toxic waste through the respiratory track. A change in weather from heat to cold or cold to damp irritates the air passages. Since ear, nose and throat are interconnected, an irritant or germs invading through them provokes the antibodies in the body to fight against them. A sensible way to tackle this battle is to let alone the running nose, sneezes and the tickling cough to carry out the elimination effectively. Otherwise the antibiotic intended to attack the invading virus or germs will also destroy the antibodies meant to safeguard out health.

Anti-inflammatory drugs

These are widely used fro Rheumatism, Arthritis, Backache and muscle aches. If they are taken for the first time, they do relieve the pain and reduce the superficial inflammation but without striking at the cause for pain or inflammation. When overused, they even cause intestinal bleeding in the form of bloody stools.

With self-prescribed and over-prescribed doses, they are extremely dangerous to all internal organs. A person who is in a regular habit of taking these drugs does also take antacids with them because anti-inflammatory drugs induces hyperacidity, heart burn and irritates the intestines.


When any drug causes acidity, high doses of antacids are followed. Overuse of these antacids may relieve acidity to some extent in the initial stages. Acid forming food combined with equally acid inducing drugs in due course do not respond to these antacids. Prolonged use of high and regular doses of antacids slowly affect all the joints in the body. Many persons who suffer from acute arthritis are the victims of these antacids. Unless a high alkaline food is prescribed to these sufferers, there can be very little or no hope from their pain.

Tranquilisers and sleeping pills

A sleep naturally induced is always best for a robust health. When sleep is medicinally induced, a person sleeps by force. Sleeping pills physically perform three tasks. First they anaesthetize, killing the pain, they forcefully make one sleep relieving tension and anxiety and they give rest to the body. All these are sometimes necessary as in emergencies and as post operative measures. But for minor day to day discomforts and in chronic diseases they are harmful to the human body and mind.

Manifold miseries of sleeping pills

The addictive tendency of these drugs after a few days of use bring forth the same discomfort and symptoms with renewed strength. The user of these drugs become more agitated and depressed, lose appetite, become lethargic all duet to its ability to depress or agitate the nerves of the brain itself. They suffer endless sleepless nights in spite of consuming larger doses of the drug. Higher doses create even medical complications like respiratory arrest and chest pain. Some of these drugs are highly hallucinogenic. The user loses his balance of mind and behavioral changes and negative emotions like fear, anger, sorrow, etc., get the better of him.


There are some people who depend on laxatives to such extreme that a regular habit of a night or morning dose of laxatives are a must every day. The ill effects of laxatives are explained in the Chapter CONSTIPATION.


The less said about these drugs the better. The main ingredient found in them is caffeine. They are equally bad if used often. They soothe the nerves that cause the pain without having any effect on the cause and origin of the pain. They are highly prescribed for neuralgic pains. After prolonged or regular use of these drugs, the user virtually suffers more pain and severe side effects, such as acidity and other liver disturbances and sleeplessness.

Hormone pills

A disturbed menstrual cycle in females does call for attention but not a medical one. What we see most now a days is women and girls taking hormone pills to regularize or normalize delayed, frequent, or excess menstrual flow. These drugs retard the glands that produce natural hormones in the body for healthy menstrual cycles. They also tend the body to put on weight, which is difficult to reduce.

Nasal spray or drops

A blocked nose or an obstructed nasal passage is often treated with these drugs. In the first place these problems occur due to the habit of keeping the mouth open while sleeping, from the very early days of childhood. This habit is commonly found in those who were used to suck thumb or those who were given rubber nipples or soothers especially at bed time in their childhood. As these children grow, breathing through the nose is impaired. They are sometimes seen breathing through their mouths even while awake. Nasal drops relieve the blockage effectively but their regular or continuous use disrupts the air passages and the user is bound to suffer frequent attacks of sore dry throat, loss of smell, cold and cough at the slight provocation. Like other habit forming drugs nasal drops too loses it’s effect after sometime. People who use them breathe only shallowly, depriving oxygenation to the blood. They also suffer from severe congested headaches.

Addiction to sweets and other food

The food we eat goes beyond the fulfillment of the physiological need. That is why we give top priority to food on all occasions, be it dinner at home or a feast outside. If a person attaches special interest to a particular type of food, there is the possibility of his indulging in the same all the time. This type of food mostly includes carbohydrates and sweets in particular. People addicted to sweets of all kinds are found large in number. Addiction to sweets is the foremost cause of many metabolic disorders including diabetes.

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  • About The Author


    Gopakumar Nair belongs to a Hereditary Ayurvedic family of Kerala who were Practising Ayurveda and traditional Medicine for 200 Years . They can be traced back to over six generations. His experience under the guidance of his guru Valiya thampuraan has earned lot of trust and popularity.

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