The Most Medicated Country In The World: 46% Of Americans Have Taken A Pharmaceutical Drug Within The Last 30 Days

If it seems like about half the country is on drugs, that is because it is actually true. According to a new survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, almost half of all Americans have taken a pharmaceutical drug within the past 30 days, and that officially makes us “the most medicated country in the world”. And needless to say, those dealing these drugs are becoming exceedingly wealthy at our expense. The average American spends $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, but of course many Americans spend far more than that and others spend nothing at all. In recent years there has been a tremendous backlash against the big pharmaceutical corporations, because many of them have become exceedingly greedy. As you will see below, prices have been raised on 650 different drugs this year alone. Once they get their claws into you, the pharmaceutical giants want to get every last penny out of you that they possibly can.

Without a doubt, there are some pharmaceutical drugs that greatly help people. In fact, many people wouldn’t be alive today without them.

On the other hand, it has been estimated that Americans spend somewhere around $200 billion a year on drugs that they do not need, and this new survey from the National Center for Health Statistics discovered that 46 percent of all Americans have taken a prescription drug within the last 30 days

Nearly half of people in the US are taking prescription drugs, a new report reveals.

The National Center for Health Statistics surveyed people across the US, and found that about 46 percent of respondents had taken at least one prescription drug in the past month.

I am sorry, but there is no way that half the country needs to be hooked on drugs.

And for senior citizens that number is much higher. In fact, the survey found that a whopping 85 percent of Americans over the age of 60 are currently on at least one pharmaceutical drug.

For adults under the ago of 60, antidepressants are being taken more than anything else

For young adults antidepressants are king. According to the most recent numbers, 11.4 percent of 20- to 59-year-olds had taken a drug to help with their mood in the last month when they took the survey.

Could this help to explain why so many people are walking around like zombies these days?

And since nearly all mass shooters have been found to be on some kind of mind-altering drug, perhaps Congress should finally take some action in this area. It can be exceedingly difficult to get off these insidious drugs, and many that get hooked on them end up staying on them for the rest of their lives.

Of course antidepressants are just one part of the problem. For example, opioids are some of the most addictive drugs on the entire planet, and their overuse has destroyed countless lives all across America.

Like those that deal illegal drugs, once the big pharmaceutical companies have their hooks in you they are not afraid to take full advantage of it. And even though many Americans rely on life-saving drugs to literally stay alive, big pharma just keeps jacking up prices year after year after year. As I mentioned above, prices have been raised on 650 different medications this year alone

More than 650 products had price increases this year, through early February, according to Rx Savings Solutions, which sells software to employers and insurers to reduce drug costs. The industry justifies the moves as essential for investing in research and development. Drugmakers often point out that they see very little of the increases because of the big rebates they distribute to others in the supply chain, including insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, who in turn blame Pharma for setting high list prices.

In most cases, we are not just talking about a price increase of a dollar or two either.

For example, one study found that out-of-pocket costs for multiple sclerosis medications had gotten 20 times greater between 2004 and 2016

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, found that the average out-of-pocket costs for people taking medications for multiple sclerosis had risen the greatest over the past 12 years, costing 20 times more in 2016 than in 2004.

“Out-of-pocket costs have risen to the point where neurologists should be able to consider the potential financial burden for the patient when prescribing medication, but they do not have this information available to them,” said Dr. Brian C. Callaghan, the study’s lead author and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.

When you have to pay 20 times as much for the same medicine 12 years later, that is some serious price gouging.

But even worse if what Catalyst Pharmaceuticals just did.

They took a drug that literally makes it possible for people with Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome to be able to walk and jacked the price all the way up to $375,000 a year

Bhanu Patel couldn’t believe the news. The cost of the medication that allows her to move — the one that enabled her to walk stairs again — shot up to $375,000.

Fear gripped her: What would this mean for her independence? Would she become a financial burden on her family? How is this possible in the country that’s given her so much?

Thankfully, there was so much outrage that the FDA decided to undercut them

The FDA announced Monday that it was approving a separate drug for pediatric patients with a rare, painful neuromuscular disease called Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, also known as LEMS. The disease weakens and fatigues muscles, causing agonizing pain to the point at which patients struggle to walk.

The move sparked celebration in the LEMS community and tanked the stock of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, maker of the $375,000 drug, called Firdapse. The company’s stock price has dropped about 50% since Monday.

Look, nobody is suggesting that pharmaceutical companies should not be allowed to make a profit.

But when you act like a pig, you are going to get slaughtered, and Catalyst Pharmaceuticals deserves everything that is happening to it.

Once upon a time, the medical industry was all about helping people, but now it is all about making as much money as possible. We desperately need to fundamentally reform our healthcare system, but Congress is not going to do that any time soon.

So for now the big pharmaceutical companies will continue to try to get as many of us as possible hooked on their drugs, and they will continue to try to squeeze every single penny out of us that they possibly can.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Shocking New Study Finds That 137 Million Americans Suffered “Medical Financial Hardship In The Past Year”

The healthcare system in the United States is deeply broken, and it is causing massive financial pain for millions of American families. Previously, I have published articles where I talked about how medical bills are the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States, and that Americans had to borrow a whopping 88 billion dollars last year to cover medical costs. This is happening even though more than 90 percent of all Americans have some form of health coverage. Thanks to soaring deductibles and health insurance policies that are absolutely riddled with loopholes, more Americans than ever are being wiped out by medical bills. And now a brand new study that was conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society has discovered that 137.1 million Americans suffered “medical financial hardship in the past year”. The following comes directly from the study

Approximately 137.1 million (95% CI 132.7–141.5) adults reported any medical financial hardship in the past year. Hardship is more common for material, psychological and behavioral domains in adults aged 18–64 years (28.9%, 46.9%, and 21.2%, respectively) than in adults aged ≥ 65 years (15.3%, 28.4%, and 12.7%, respectively; all p < .001). Lower educational attainment and more health conditions were strongly associated with hardship intensity in multivariable analyses in both age groups (p < .001). In the younger group, the uninsured were more likely to report multiple domains of hardship (52.8%), compared to those with some public (26.5%) or private insurance (23.2%) (p < .001). In the older group, individuals with Medicare only were more likely to report hardship in multiple domains (17.1%) compared to those with Medicare and public (12.1%) or Medicare and private coverage (10.1%) (p < .001).

We are the wealthiest nation on the entire planet, and we should have the greatest healthcare system.

This shouldn’t be happening.

And the conclusion that the study ultimately reached is that things are likely to get even worse as we move into the future

Medical financial hardship is common in the USA, especially in adults aged 18–64 years and those without health insurance coverage. With trends towards higher patient cost-sharing and increasing health care costs, risks of hardship may increase in the future.

When I ran for Congress, I strongly stressed the need for a complete and total overhaul of our healthcare system, but unfortunately our current representatives in Washington don’t seem too interested in that.

Today, many Americans try to avoid our healthcare system as much as possible because they are afraid of being hit with absolutely ridiculous bills.

Just consider the case of 9-year-old Oakley Yoder. She went for a hike in the woods at summer camp, and a snake bite forced her to go to the hospital

It was dusk as Oakley Yoder and the other summer camp kids hiked back to their tents at Illinois’ Jackson Falls last July. As the group approached a mound of boulders blocking the path, Oakley, then 9, didn’t see the lurking snake — until it bit a toe on her right foot.

“I was really scared,” Oakley said. “I thought that I could either get paralyzed or could actually die.”

So how much do you think her treatment cost?

A few hundred dollars?

A few thousand dollars?

Actually, the total bill was $142,938

Total bill: $142,938, including $67,957 for four vials of antivenin ($55,577.64 was charged for air ambulance transport). The balance included a ground ambulance charge and additional hospital and physician charges, according to the family’s insurer, IU Health Plans.

This is yet another example that shows that our current system needs to be totally dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.

You could buy an entire house for $142,938.

Here are some more facts from a previous article that show just how dramatically the U.S. healthcare system has failed…

3.7 trillion dollars was spent on health care in the United States in 2018. That breaks down to $10,739 per person.

-If our health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet.

76 percent of Americans believe that they pay too much for the quality of health care that they receive.

-Out of the 36 counties in the OECD, the U.S. ranks 31st in infant mortality.

-Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today.

-Pharmaceutical companies spend approximately 30 billion dollars a year to market their drugs to all of us.

Nearly half of all U.S. doctors are considering leaving the field of medicine, and health insurance companies are the primary reason.

-The median charge for visiting an emergency room in the United States is well over a thousand dollars.

I could go on and on all day, but let me give you just one more example of how flawed our healthcare system has become.

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of Insys Theraputics, was just found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe high doses of a painkiller called Subsys

Kapoor oversaw a marketing strategy at Insys that hired doctors as speakers at educational seminars as cover to pay them more than $1m to prescribe high doses of Subsys to patients who did not need it. Prosecutors said the seminars were no more than social gatherings at expensive New York restaurants followed by company sales reps taking the physicians to strip clubs and bars.

Prosecutors showed the jury spreadsheets of payments to doctors and how much the company profited from each bribe. In one instance, the company paid nearly $260,000 to two New York doctors who wrote more than $6m worth of Subsys prescriptions in 2014. Insys employees also posed as doctors to give insurance companies invented diagnoses to get approval for payments for the drug.

In this case justice was done, but the truth is that this sort of stuff happens in the medical world constantly.

Our entire healthcare system is now completely dominated by the pharmaceutical giants, the big health insurance companies and greedy corporate interests.

They don’t care about us. All they really care about is making as much money as possible, and if people get hurt in the process they are willing to live with that.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Americans Had To Borrow 88 BILLION Dollars To Cover Their Medical Bills Last Year

I know that the headline sounds outrageous, but it is actually true. According to a brand new report that was just released, Americans had to borrow 88 billion dollars to cover their medical bills last year. That is a truly astounding number, and it shows just how dramatically our current health care system has failed. And even though the vast majority of Americans are covered by “health insurance”, millions of us are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it might cost. Today, two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical bills, and most of the people going bankrupt actually had health insurance. Overall, more than half a million American families are financially ruined by medical bills each year, and meanwhile our “representatives” in Washington are doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem.

Surveys have shown that up to two-thirds of the country is living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time, and an unexpected medical bill can be absolutely devastating for those that are just barely scraping by.

Without much of a financial cushion to fall back on, many families must borrow money when confronted with a large medical expense, and the scale at which this is happening is absolutely stunning

Health care costs in the United States are generally measured as the highest in the world. Last year, many Americans could not afford their health care costs and so borrowed $88 billion to pay for that portion they could not afford.

According to a new West Health and Gallup poll, in a new report titled “The U.S. Healthcare Cost Crisis,” the $88 billion was borrowed in the year before the survey, which was done from January 14 to February 20. The poll was conducted via a random group of 3,537 adults over 18 living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How in the world is this possible?

After all, more than 90 percent of all Americans have some form of health coverage. So why did Americans need to borrow 88 billion dollars to cover their unpaid medical bills last year alone?

Well, first of all it is important to remember that health insurance deductibles have gotten obscenely huge. The following numbers come from a CNN article about Obamacare

The law sets a ceiling on how much consumers have to spend on health care. In 2019, it’s $7,900 for a single person and double that for a family. Some bronze plans peg their deductibles to those levels.

The average deductible for a 2019 bronze policy — which have higher deductibles, but lower premiums than other tiers of Obamacare plans — is nearly $5,900, while the average maximum of out-of-pocket limit is just under $7,000, according to Health Pocket, an online health insurance shopping tool. Family bronze plans have an average deductible of just under $12,200 and an average out-of-pocket maximum of nearly $14,000.

Secondly, even if you have surpassed your deductible, there is still no guarantee that your health insurance company will cover your medical bills. If you do not jump through every single little hoop they want you to jump through, in many instances they will leave you high and dry. When I was running for Congress I had personal conversations with so many people that had been screwed over by the health insurance companies. The more claims they deny, the more money they make, and they have become masters at finding even the smallest loophole that will enable them to wiggle off the hook.

Of course there are some health insurance companies out there that are doing a good job, but the bad apples give the entire industry a very bad name.

We have a system that is deeply broken, and it greatly frustrates me that both political parties seem so uninterested in getting a solution through Congress.

Here are some more numbers that show the current state of the U.S. health care system…

3.7 trillion dollars was spent on health care in the United States in 2018. That breaks down to $10,739 per person.

-If our health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet.

76 percent of Americans believe that they pay too much for the quality of health care that they receive.

-Out of the 36 counties in the OECD, the U.S. ranks 31st in infant mortality.

-Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today.

-Pharmaceutical companies spend approximately 30 billion dollars a year to market their drugs to all of us.

Nearly half of all U.S. doctors are considering leaving the field of medicine, and health insurance companies are the primary reason.

-The median charge for visiting an emergency room in the United States is well over a thousand dollars.

When I was growing up, my mother took me and my siblings to the doctor constantly. But I don’t know anyone that does that today, because it would be ridiculously expensive in most cases.

And one recent survey actually found that 41 percent of all Americans decided against an emergency room visit last year “due to cost”

Another major personal financial concern among Americans is that 45% worry that a “major health care event” would leave them bankrupt, the West Health-Gallup survey found. Additionally, in the past year, 41% said they did not visit an emergency room due to cost.

Fifteen million Americans “deferred” purchasing prescription drugs in the past year because of costs as well. Finally, 76% believe the problem will become worse because health care costs will rise more over the next two years.

Fixing our horribly broken health care system needs to be a top national priority, but earlier today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it abundantly clear that nothing will be done about Obamacare in the Senate until the 2020 election. And of course the Democrats are not going to make any major moves on health care until the 2020 election either.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with what we have got for the moment.

Our health care crisis is a national nightmare that never seems to end, and it gets worse with each passing year.

So for now, just hope that nobody in your family becomes seriously ill, because if that happens there is a good chance you might go bankrupt.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

“I Cry When I Think Back How Things Used To Be” – What In the World Has Happened To The America We Grew Up In?

Earlier today, my attention was directed to a thread on an Internet discussion forum that lamented how much America had changed over the years. I don’t know exactly why, but the posts on that thread really touched me. Those of us that are old enough to remember what America was like before the Internet grew up in a much simpler time. Yes, we didn’t have all of the luxuries that we take for granted in 2019, but we found joy in the simple things and people were generally much happier. Today, we seemingly have so much going for us, and yet people are lonelier, more disconnected and more depressed than ever before. The suicide rate in the United States is up 34 percent since the year 2000, approximately 40 million American adults have an anxiety disorder, and overdosing on drugs is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Clearly our society is not heading in the right direction.

So that probably explains why a thread entitled “I Cry When I Think Back How Things Used To Be” got my attention so much. This is what the author of the thread posted…

I can never go back to my early days growing up on the farm. Had time to enjoy each day, the warm sun the hay in the barn. Even with all the work there was to be done. Eating an apple off the tree, taking a long drink from the cool spring. Working the garden…..What the hell happened.

In just five sentences, this individual captured what so many of us have been feeling.

Of course most of us didn’t grow up on a farm. I certainly didn’t. But without a doubt there are lots of people out there that are saddened by the contrast between what America used to be and what America is today.

Another person that grew up near Boston also shared memories of simpler days

me too..

only it was just suburbs Boston.

actually, just sitting and talking with neighbors, drinking lemonade in summer as Boston is insanely humid then..

or even more recently, in Wisconsin.. listening to thunderstorms roll in.. the state is so flat you can see these beautiful storms for miles…

Once upon a time in America, people actually sat on their porches and talked with their neighbors. I know that may sound quite strange to many of you, but it is true.

Sadly, most houses that are being built today don’t even have real front porches because they are considered to be a waste of space.

So what has caused such a dramatic shift in our country?

Well, the truth is that there are a lot of factors, but one that kept coming up over and over in the thread was social media. Here is what one astute poster had to say

Social media made people cold, uncaring and combative.

People have lost their connection to one another. They’ve lost the drive to socialize and have friends and form solid connections. Instead they opt to argue, fight and divide themselves.

This has made society negative, bitter, and have no hope or joy for the future.

You arent sad because you look back into the past, you are sad because you are looking into the present and future and you realize the path humanity is currently on is a very bad one. A path that is very different than the path humanity was on not that long ago.

You don’t have to spend much time on social media to realize that a lot of people are downright nasty, mean and cruel.

It isn’t healthy to spend much time mentally immersed in that type of environment, but many of our young people are online almost constantly, and as a result they are developing all sorts of problems

Teens and young adults are in the midst of a unique mental health crisis, suggests a new study out Thursday. It found that rates of depressive episodes and serious psychological distress have dramatically risen among these age groups in recent years, while hardly budging or even declining for older age groups.

Lead author Jean Twenge, a 47-year-old professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has spent much of her career studying the attitudes and beliefs of younger generations. Most recently, in 2017, Twenge published a pop-science book laying out her central argument that teens and young adults coming of age are especially lonely and disconnected, thanks in part to the growing abundance of social media and devices like smartphones. Her book is titled iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

And one shocking study that was conducted not too long ago found a direct link between social media use and levels of depression and loneliness

A new study concludes that there is in fact a causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness. The study was published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

“What we found overall is that if you use less social media, you are actually less depressed and less lonely, meaning that the decreased social media use is what causes that qualitative shift in your well-being,” said Jordyn Young, a co-author of the paper and a senior at the University of Pennsylvania.

The implications of this are staggering. As Americans become more and more immersed in the online world, we are likely to become increasingly unhappy.

So is there anything that can be done?

Well, some are suggesting that the social media giants should change their algorithms

The solution is obvious: change the algorithms. Which is to say: make less money. Ha.They could even remove the algorithms entirely, switch back to Strict Chronological, and still make money — Twitter was profitable before stock options before it switched to an algorithmic feed, and its ad offerings were way less sophisticated back then — but it’s not about making money, it’s about making the most money possible, and that means algorithmically curated, engagement-driven, misery-inducing feeds.

Of course that isn’t likely to happen, and it would probably only have a marginal impact anyway.

In the end, the reality of the matter is that technology is always going to be a part of our lives, but we need to strive to find proper balance.

Because those that spend too much time on the hate-filled Internet are in danger of turning out like this crazed woman

A crazed leftist with a mohawk attacked an elderly gentleman minding his own business inside of a Starbucks in Palo Alto, CA because he was wearing a red MAGA hat.

A ‘woman’ who goes by the name Parker Mankey, posted photos of the elderly Trump supporter to her Facebook page Monday and called on her Facebook friends to find out who the “freak” is and “confront him.”

Parker Mankey, who declared her support for Bernie Sanders, says screaming at him, stalking him and doxxing him is a way to fight back against Fascism.

Do you think that this woman would have turned out this way if she had been raised on a farm with no access to the Internet, television or the mainstream media?

Of course not.

What we regularly feed our minds determines what we will become.

The Internet can be used for great good, but there is also much online that is highly toxic. And the more toxic the Internet becomes, the more toxic our nation as a whole will become.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

$3.5 Trillion A Year: America’s Health Care System Has Become One Of The World’s Largest Money Making Scams

If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet. At this point only the United States, China, Japan and Germany have a GDP that is larger than the 3.5 trillion dollar U.S. health care market. If that sounds obscene to you, that is because it is obscene. We should want people to be attracted to the health care industry because they truly want to help people that are suffering, but instead the primary reason why people are drawn to the health care industry these days is because of the giant mountains of money that are being made. Like so many other things in our society, the health care industry is all about the pursuit of the almighty dollar, and that is just wrong.

In order to keep this giant money machine rolling, the health care industry has to do an enormous amount of marketing. If you can believe it, a study that was just published found that at least 30 billion dollars a year is spent on such marketing.

Hoping to earn its share of the $3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing nearly doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

This marketing takes many different forms, but perhaps the most obnoxious are the television ads that are endlessly hawking various pharmaceutical drugs. If you watch much television, you certainly can’t miss them. They always show vibrant, smiling, healthy people participating in various outdoor activities on bright, sunny days, and the inference is that if you want to be like those people you should take their drugs. And the phrase “ask your doctor” is usually near the end of every ad…

The biggest increase in medical marketing over the past 20 years was in “direct-to-consumer” advertising, including the TV commercials that exhort viewers to “ask your doctor” about a particular drug. Spending on such ads jumped from $2.1 billion in 1997 to nearly $10 billion in 2016, according to the study.

As a result of all those ads, millions of Americans rush out to their doctors to ask about drugs that they do not need for diseases that they do not have.

And on January 1st, dozens of pharmaceutical manufacturers hit Americans with another annual round of massive price increases.

But everyone will just keep taking those drugs, because that is what the doctors are telling them to do. But what most people never find out is that the pharmaceutical industry goes to great lengths to get those doctors to do what they want. According to NBC News, the big drug companies are constantly “showering them with free food, drinks and speaking fees, as well as paying for them to travel to conferences”.

It is a legal form of bribery, and it works.

When you go to most doctors, they will only have two solutions to whatever problem you have – drugs or surgery.

And since nobody really likes to get cut open, and since drugs are usually the far less expensive choice, they are usually the preferred option.

Of course if doctors get off the path and start trying to get cute by proposing alternative solutions, they can get in big trouble really fast

Today’s medical doctors are not allowed to give nutritional advice, or the American Medical Association will come shut them down, and even if they were, they don’t know the right things to say, because they weren’t educated that way in medical college. So instead, M.D.s just sling experimental, addictive drugs at symptoms of deeper rooted sicknesses, along with immune-system-destroying antibiotics and carcinogenic vaccines.

That’s why any medicine that wrecks your health is easy to come by, just like junk food in vending machines. The money isn’t made off the “vending” products, the money is made off the sick fools who are repeat offenders and keep going back to the well for more poison – it’s called chronic sick care or symptom management. Fact: Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in America, even when “taken as directed.”

Switching gears, let’s talk about hospitals for a moment.

When you go to the hospital, it is often during a great time of need. If you are gravely ill or if an accident has happened and you think you might die, you aren’t thinking about how much your medical care is going to cost. At that moment you just want help, and that is a perfect opportunity for predators to take advantage of you.

Just consider the example of 24-year-old Nina Dang. She broke her arm while riding her bicycle in San Francisco, and so she went to the emergency room.

The hospital that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated so much money to definitely fixed her arm, but later they broke her bank account when they hit her with a $24,000 bill

A bystander saw her fall and called an ambulance. She was semi-lucid for that ride, awake but unable to answer basic questions about where she lived. Paramedics took her to the emergency room at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where doctors X-rayed her arm and took a CT scan of her brain and spine. She left with her arm in a splint, on pain medication, and with a recommendation to follow up with an orthopedist.

A few months later, Dang got a bill for $24,074.50. Premera Blue Cross, her health insurer, would only cover $3,830.79 of that — an amount that it thought was fair for the services provided. That left Dang with $20,243.71 to pay, which the hospital threatened to send to collections in mid-December.

Most Americans assume that if they have “good health insurance” that they are covered if something major happens.

But as Dang found out, you can still be hit with crippling hospital bills even if you have insurance.

Today, medical debt is the number one reason why Americans declare bankruptcy. Because of the way our system is set up, most families are just one major illness away from financial ruin.

And this kind of thing is not just happening in California. The median charge for a visit to the emergency room nationally is well over a thousand dollars, and you can be billed up to 30 dollars for a single pill of aspirin during a hospital stay.

Our health care system is deeply broken, and it has been designed to squeeze as much money out of all of us as it possibly can.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with this system for now. The health care industry is certainly not going to reform itself, and the gridlock in Washington is going to make a political solution impossible for the foreseeable future.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

U.S. Life Expectancy Is Falling – And The 2 Biggest Reasons Why Will Absolutely Stun You…

Life expectancy in the United States has been falling in recent years, and we haven’t seen a trend like this since the days of World War I. When I was growing up, life expectancy was continually rising, and it was generally believed that it would keep rising for many decades to come. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, average life expectancy started to stall and now it has been declining. You might assume that this is because rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes are going up, but the numbers are telling a different story. In fact, brand new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are telling us that life expectancy is going down in the United States because of a dramatic increase in drug overdoses and suicides

U.S. life expectancy declined in 2017 as more Americans died of drug overdoses and suicides, furthering a troubling trend of declining lifespans not seen in a century, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a report released Thursday.

Life expectancy was 78.6 years in 2017, down from 78.7 years in 2016, the CDC said.

Life expectancy also declined in 2015 and stayed flat in 2016, making this the first three-year period of general decline since the late 1910s.

In other words, this is something that we are doing to ourselves.

Let’s talk about drugs first. Last year, the rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States jumped 9.6 percent

In 2017, the rate of drug overdose deaths was 9.6 percent higher than in 2016, with 70,237 people dying from drug overdoses, many of them from the epidemic of opioid abuse.

Overdosing on drugs is now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

I know that some of you may not want to hear this, but the United States has a bigger drug problem today than ever before in our history.

Of course the opioid epidemic is wildly out of control, but meth has made a massive comeback as well. In fact, the number of meth-related hospitalizations rose 245 percent between 2008 and 2015. The following comes from NBC News

The number of people hospitalized because of amphetamine use is skyrocketing in the United States, but the resurgence of the drug has largely been overshadowed by the nation’s intense focus on opioids.

Amphetamine-related hospitalizations jumped by about 245 percent from 2008 to 2015, according to a study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That dwarfs the rise in hospitalizations from other drugs, such as opioids, which were up by about 46 percent. The most significant increases were in Western states.

And in a previous article I discussed how cocaine is making a major comeback as well. In fact, the number of cocaine deaths in America just hit a brand new all-time record high

Cocaine deaths have hit a record high as the drug has quietly become increasingly popular while the attention of the media and health officials has been on the ongoing opioid epidemic.

In the last 12 months, 14,205 Americans died of cocaine overdoses, marking a 22 percent increase over the previous year, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is a major public health emergency, and yet there is not much political willpower to tackle this crisis right now.

Meanwhile, the suicide rate in the U.S. has soared to a new record high as well.

In fact, the CDC says that our suicide rate has shot up 33 percent since 1999…

Meanwhile, the suicide rate has increased a massive 33 percent since 1999, the CDC said. There are now 14 suicides per 100,000 people, up from 10.5 in 1999.

I can’t understand why anyone would ever want to do such a thing.

Life is such a precious gift, and I can’t imagine ever throwing that away.

But it is happening on a very large scale, and a number of recent celebrity suicides have gotten national attention. I did not realize this, but USA Today is reporting that the number of Americans that die as a result of suicide is now greater than the number of Americans that are murdered…

Americans are more than twice as likely to die by their own hands, of their own will, than by someone else’s. But while homicides spark vigils and protests, entering into headlines, presidential speeches and police budgets, suicides don’t. Still shrouded in stigma, many suicides go unacknowledged save for the celebrities – Robin Williams, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain – punctuating the unrelenting rise in suicide deaths with a brief public outcry.

So what is causing this trend?

Predictably, USA Today is attempting to claim that “climate change” is one of the factors

Alcohol and substance abuse are risk factors, and both are increasing. Isolation raises the risk, and nearly half of Americans say they sometimes or always feel alone. Increasing smartphone use has been linked to suicidal thoughts in teens. Even climate change has been found to have roughly the same effect on increasing suicides as an economic recession.

Seriously?

If people don’t like the minor climate fluctuations that we have been witnessing in recent years, then they really aren’t going to like what is coming next.

Ultimately, the real issue is that Americans are deeply unhappy. When people feel empty, they take drugs to make themselves feel better. And if people have no hope of things ever getting better, they commit suicide.

People need hope, and the modern lifestyle doesn’t provide that. Instead, we are taught to pursue an education and then a career so that we can make lots of money, but lots of money is never going to buy happiness.

We have now raised several generations of Americans in an environment that is virtually devoid of values and principles, and somehow we expect them to find meaning and purpose in life.

But Americans are not finding meaning and purpose in life. Instead, they are realizing that society has sold them a bunch of lies, and as a result record numbers of them are turning to drugs or suicide as the ultimate answer.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

If America Is Such A Happy Place, Why Is The Suicide Rate Up 34% Since The Year 2000?

What in the world has happened to us? Despite our ridiculously high standard of living compared to the rest of the world, America is a deeply unhappy place. When I was growing up, there were no “smart phones”, the Internet did not exist, if you wanted to buy something you had to actually go to a store and hunt for it, and most vehicles were pieces of junk that completely broke down after a few years. Today, we have hundreds of television channels, we have more movies than we could ever possibly watch, video games have become wildly creative and there is an app for almost anything that you could possibly need on your phone just a few clicks away. We are literally drowning in entertainment, and yet we are far less happy than previous generations. In fact, the CDC says that the suicide rate in the United States has risen by 34 percent since the year 2000…

Men who work in construction and extraction had the highest rates of suicide in the United States, according to a report published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For women, suicide rates were highest among those who work in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media.

From 2000 to 2016, the suicide rate among the US working-age population — people 16 to 64 — increased 34%, the report says.

It greatly saddened me to learn that construction workers and miners have the highest suicide rates in the entire country. My grandfather was a construction worker, and he took great pride in his work. In fact, I still have a wooden bowl that he made for me sitting on my desk as I write this article.

On the other end of the spectrum, suicide rates are lowest among teachers, professors and librarians

For both sexes, the occupational group with the lowest rate of suicides was education, training and library. This includes jobs such as teachers, professors and archivists.

This surprised me, because anyone that has ever spent much time in a classroom understands how much stress a teacher must endure on a daily basis.

But overall, the news is not good. At a time when the U.S. has been at peace and supposedly “prospering”, our suicide rate has been absolutely skyrocketing.

If this many people are killing themselves now, what is going to happen once things get really, really bad in this country?

Of course the authorities are at a loss as to how to solve this crisis. They are saying that this rise in suicide is a “tragedy” and that we must increase “prevention efforts”

“Increasing suicide rates in the U.S. are a concerning trend that represent a tragedy for families and communities and impact the American workforce,” said Dr. Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Knowing who is at greater risk for suicide can help save lives through focused prevention efforts.”

In other words, they want us to throw more money at the problem.

In America today, whenever anything goes wrong the “solution” always seems to be to make the government even bigger and spend more taxpayer money.

But the truth is that big government is not going to save us. People don’t need more government bureaucrats telling them how to run their lives. Instead, what people really need is to find meaning and purpose in life, and that is not something that big government is going to provide.

Suicide rates are particularly high in many rural areas. In fact, a previous CDC report discovered that the suicide rate in rural areas is actually 45 percent higher than in “large urban areas”…

The suicide rate in rural America is 45% greater than in large urban areas, according to a study released last fall by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A more recent CDC report said Montana’s suicide rate leads the nation, coming in at nearly twice the national average. A third long-touted CDC study, currently under review, listed farming in the occupational group, along with fishing and forestry, with the highest rate of suicide deaths.

That occupational study was based on 2012 data, when farming was strong and approaching its peak in 2013, says Jennifer Fahy, communications director for the nonprofit Farm Aid. Farmers’ net income has fallen 50% since 2013 and is expected to drop to a 12-year low this year, the US Department of Agriculture reports.

Without a doubt, things are tough in rural areas all over the nation right now. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost 1 out of every 4 children in rural areas is currently living in poverty. My wife and I live in a rural area, and there are so many families up here that are deeply struggling right now.

As the middle class has deteriorated, more Americans than ever have been forced to turn to the government for help. At this point, almost 52 percent of all children live in a home that receives monthly help from the federal government

The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children “The Welfare Generation.”

Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

If the U.S. economy really was in good shape, we wouldn’t have such a dramatic problem with poverty.

And this is something that a lot of Americans are quite concerned about. The following are some very interesting numbers from a recent MSN poll

  • Approximately 2/3 of people are concerned about the level of poverty in the United States right now.
  • Women are 1.2x more likely than men to be concerned about the issue of poverty.
  • Generally speaking, the more money you make, the less likely you are to care about poverty (although more than half of those making $150K+ are still concerned about the issue).

From those numbers, it looks like men have some work to do in the compassion department.

In the years ahead, poverty is likely to get a whole lot worse in this country.

The suicide rate has already been spiking during “normal times”, and many are deeply alarmed about what might happen once this nation enters a period of utter despair.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium members-only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

The Big Secret The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want To Tell You About America’s Soaring Suicide Rates

This week two celebrity suicides rocked the nation, and neither of them seemed to make any sense. Kate Spade’s handbag designs had taken the fashion world by storm, and she was supposedly living the kind of lifestyle that millions of Americans can only dream about. And Anthony Bourdain was one of those rare journalists that was greatly loved by both the left and the right. His “Kitchen Confidential” book is currently the #1 best seller on Amazon, and his “Parts Unknown” series was one of CNN’s most popular shows. Why would people that seemingly have everything going for them decide to kill themselves? Well, by the end of this article you will learn some things about suicide and depression in the United States that the mainstream media definitely does not want to talk about. And all you have to do is to follow the money to discover the very disturbing reason why the mainstream media does not want to talk about them.

On average, 123 Americans commit suicide every single day, and now suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

But among Americans between the ages of 10 and 34, it is now the second leading cause of death.

Of course it wasn’t always this way. Suicide rates used to be much, much lower. If you can believe it, suicide rates in the United States “have risen nearly 30 percent since 1999” according to the CDC…

Suicide rates in the U.S. have risen nearly 30% since 1999, according to a report released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicides increased in both men and women, in all ethnic groups and in both urban and rural areas. Suicide and “self-harm,” a category that includes attempted suicides, cost the nation $70 billion a year in medical care and lost work time, the CDC says.

The CDC says that rates have increased “among both sexes, all racial/ethnic groups, and all urbanization levels”, and so this is not just a trend that is affecting one particular demographic group.

And virtually all age groups are seeing major increases as well. For example, hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts and attempts at children’s hospitals approximately doubled over a recent 7 years period…

At children’s hospitals across the country, hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts and attempts doubled from 2008 to 2015, according to a study published last month in the journal Pediatrics. The highest increases were seen among teens ages 15 to 17 years old.

Middle-aged Americans are also seeing a stunning rise in suicides. According to the CDC, the suicide rate for Americans from the age of 45 to the age of 64 is rising faster than for the general population as a whole

Earlier research showed that suicides among middle-aged men and women climbed at a higher rate than the overall population. Suicide among men aged 45 to 64 increased 43% from 1999 through 2014. The suicide rate uptick was even higher among women in that age group, though more men died from suicide, the CDC said.

So why is this happening?

History tells us that suicide rates tend to go up during economic recessions, but we are not in a recession at the moment.

According to NBC News, researchers have found that people that kill themselves tend to have certain things in common…

  • 42 percent had a relationship problem
  • 28 percent had substance abuse issues
  • 16 percent had job or financial problems
  • 29 percent had some kind of crisis
  • 22 percent had a physical health issue
  • 9 percent had a criminal legal problem

But those problems have always existed in our society.

To find the truth, we need to go down a rabbit hole, and it is a rabbit hole that the mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about.

The use of antidepressants and other mind-altering drugs is absolutely exploding in our society. According to Time Magazine, the use of antidepressants rose almost 65 percent between 1999 and 2014…

A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that from 2011 through 2014, the most recent data available, close to 13% of people 12 and older said they took an antidepressant in the last month. That number is up from 11% in 2005-2008.

The most recent numbers have increased by nearly 65% since 1999-2002, when 7.7% of Americans reported taking an antidepressant.

And numerous scientific studies have shown that there appears to be a link between antidepressant use and suicide. In fact, the biggest review of clinical trials ever conducted found that the use of antidepressants “doubled the risk of suicide” for those under the age of 18…

Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, the biggest ever review has found, as pharmaceutical companies were accused of failing to report side-effects and even deaths linked to the drugs.

An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants – involving more than 18,000 people – found they doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour in under 18s.

If you have ever been on any of these drugs, then you already know that they can really mess with your mind, and they can result in people doing some very irrational things.

In the case of Kate Spade, we do have confirmation that she was taking antidepressants. The following comes directly from her husband’s statement

She was actively seeking help for depression and anxiety over the last 5 years, seeing a doctor on a regular basis and taking medication for both depression and anxiety.

We also know that Anthony Bourdain really struggled with depression as well

The television host also discussed thoughts of depression. In a 2016 episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain traveled to Argentina for psychotherapy — something widely popular in the country.

“Well, things have been happening,” he says on camera. “I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger. It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.

Considering the fact that he had been dealing with incidents of severe depression for many years, could it be possible that Bourdain was also taking antidepressants?

If anyone out there can confirm this, please reach out to me with that information.

Of course the mainstream media is never going to address this link, because they do not want to harm their relationships with the big drug companies.

If you ever spend time watching the major news channels in the evening, then you already know that you are bombarded with one drug ad after another. It is their major source of revenue, and they aren’t ever going to do anything that could endanger that.

Today, the pharmaceutical corporations spend more than 6 billion dollars a year on advertising.

So there are 6 billion reasons why the mainstream media does not want to tell you the truth, and because they won’t tell you the truth many more Americans are going to needlessly die in the years ahead…

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Completely Alone And Utterly Depressed

Do you ever feel like you have been completely abandoned by the world? Do you struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression? If so, you are far from alone. Thanks to technology Americans are more isolated than they have ever been before, and as you will see below, this is really starting to cause a major national crisis. Humans were designed to be social creatures, and researchers have found that a lack of interaction with others can cause major mental, emotional and social problems. Not only that, it can also lead to premature death. We actually have a need to love others and to be loved by them, and if those needs are not met the consequences can be quite dramatic.

Unfortunately, our society has evolved to the point where we hardly interact with one another anymore. First of all, the size of the average household has declined from about 4.5 people to about 2.5 people over the past 100 years, and we lead the world in the number of one person households.

So for most of us, the number of people that we interact with in our homes is quite limited.

For children, at least there is quite a bit of interaction with others at school, but once you become an adult things are very different.

Most adults get up in the morning and drive by themselves to work. Even if you take mass transportation, it is very rare to actually have a meaningful discussion with anyone. I remember the days when I would take the Metro into Washington D.C. every morning, and most of the time there was complete silence even though the trains were usually completely packed during rush hour. Most people would either close their eyes, read a book or spend the entire trip staring into their phones.

I have to say that cell phones have probably done more to damage real human interaction than almost any other invention in human history. So many people just walk around like zombies obsessively staring into their little phones while life goes on all around them. And it is the worst with young people. For some of them, it is virtually impossible to get them to put those things down long enough to have a real conversation with them.

Once most Americans get to their places of employment there is some human interaction, but it is generally limited to topics related to work. Yes, some very deep and meaningful relationships can be built at work, but these days that is fairly rare.

At the end of the day, most people get back into their vehicles and head home. Perhaps a stop is made for a quick shopping trip, but randomly engaging other shoppers in conversation is not something that is typically done.

In the evenings, the vast majority of us spend several hours staring into our flickering television sets consuming whatever “entertainment” the corporate media giants have concocted for us. Like the cell phone, the television has been one of the worst things to ever happen to human interaction. In the old days, families would sit out on their front porches and get to know their neighbors, but these days a lot of people don’t know their neighbors at all.

What I am trying to point out is that we have become a deeply lonely nation, and some are describing this as “a public health crisis”

Truly, a public health crisis is in the making. Transcending all demographics, loneliness is an epidemic which is literally killing us.

After 35 years of multiple studies, Brigham Young University researchers have found that loneliness and isolation increase the likelihood of premature death by 32 percent (on par with the risk of obesity). In our ever “connected” world of the Internet and social media, reaching out to someone is as easy as tapping a few buttons, but the amount of people that say they have no one to talk to has tripled in the last 20 years.

In addition to greatly increasing your risk of dying early, loneliness has a whole host of other negative health effects as well

Research indicates that perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness) is a risk factor for, and may contribute to, poorer overall cognitive performance, faster cognitive decline, poorer executive functioning, increased negativity and depressive cognition, heightened sensitivity to social threats, a confirmatory bias in social cognition that is self-protective and paradoxically self-defeating, heightened anthropomorphism and contagion that threatens social cohesion.

I don’t know what all of that means, but it sounds really bad.

Sometimes I wish that scientists would just speak to us in plain English.

Loneliness is particularly chronic among the elderly. The following comes from the New York Times

“The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem,” said Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized.”

In Britain and the United States, roughly one in three people older than 65 live alone, and in the United States, half of those older than 85 live alone. Studies in both countries show the prevalence of loneliness among people older than 60 ranging from 10 percent to 46 percent.

If you have a parent or a grandparent that is living alone, please visit them on a regular basis.

You may never know how much it means to them.

Of course loneliness is a big problem on the other end of the age spectrum as well. The following comes from U.S. News & World Report

The American Freshman Survey collected responses from about 153,000 full-time, first-year students at more than 200 four-year public and private institutions in 2014. An increasing number of students – now 38.8 percent – said they spend less than five hours each week with friends, while just 18 percent said they spend more than 16 hours weekly with friends. It’s the opposite of the picture student responses painted in 1987, when two-thirds said they spent more than 16 hours each week socializing.

Those numbers are absolutely staggering. Because so many of us are feeling so lonely and so isolated, it should come as no surprise that depression is at epidemic levels in this country.

In fact, the number of Americans that have been formally diagnosed with depression is increasing at a rate of about 20 percent a year, and at this moment approximately one out of every six Americans is on an anti-depressant or some other sort of psychiatric drug.

According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans are currently taking antidepressants, and each year more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants are issued.

As technology takes over our lives, the trends that I have discussed in this article will likely accelerate even more, and our need for real human interaction will become even greater.

So make it a point to reach out and love those around you, because our world is becoming a very cold place.

The Decline Of America: Will The U.S. Collapse Due To An Internal Societal Meltdown?

American Flag Blowing In The Wind - Public Domain

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for the United States of America? All great nations eventually fall, and the United States is not going to be any exception. Many of those that write about the decline of our once great country tend to focus on external threats, and there are certainly many that could be talked about. But perhaps even more ominous is the internal societal meltdown that we see happening all around us. According to Real Clear Politics, recent surveys show that 67 percent of Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track, and only 26 percent of Americans believe that it is headed in the right direction. So even though we are tremendously divided as to what the solutions are, the vast majority of us can see that something is deeply, deeply wrong with America.

Personally, I spend a lot of time writing about our economic problems. We have piled up the largest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, last year the middle class became a minority for the first time in our history, and 47 percent of all Americans couldn’t even pay an unexpected $400 emergency room bill without borrowing the money or selling something. But I don’t want to focus on economics in this article.

Neither do I plan to focus on our political problems. The fact that somewhere around half the country plans to vote for Hillary Clinton in November shows just how far gone we are as a nation. And the Republican Party is essentially just a watered-down version of the Democrats at this point. On average, Congress has just a 14.5 percent approval rating, and yet we keep sending the same corrupt politicians back to Washington D.C. time after time.

What in the world is wrong with us?

Physically we are a giant mess too. According to USA Today, the obesity rate in the United States has more than doubled over the past 25 years, and the OECD has found that the U.S. has the most overweight population in the entire industrialized world by a wide margin.

But our physical problems are not going to be the focus of this article either.

Instead, I want to focus on what is going on inside our heads and inside our hearts. I want to focus on our mental, emotional and spiritual problems.

Alvin Conway of The Extinction Protocol has been chronicling global disasters for years, and he has just posted an insightful piece in which he comments on the growing social decay that we see all around us…

According to Covenant Eyes, an internet search group, 1 out of 5 mobile searches on the internet involves pornography. Illegal drugs continue to be both manufactured and transported into the U.S. with no apparent way of halting or stopping the flow. In the US alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs, more than the combined number of people who reportedly abuse cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin. If the war against drugs can’t be won, what luck will we ever have winning the war on terror? Does anyone remember who won Lyndon B. Johnson’s famed war on poverty? Regardless, let’s throw some more taxpayers’ money at an issues that money along can’t fix.

Later in his article, Conway goes on to link this social decay with the spiritual decline of our nation…

According to Pew Forum, the number of people who claim to be religious in America is declining as the country becomes more and more secular. “Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.” The U.S. is beginning to look more and more like ancient Rome before it collapsed.

I agree with Conway. America is starting to look more and more like the Roman Empire just before it collapsed.

A nation is only as strong as its population, and right now we are quite a disaster. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States has spiked to the highest level in almost 30 years. The following is an excerpt from a Washington Post article entitled “U.S. suicide rate has risen sharply in the 21st century“…

The U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, led by an even greater rise among middle-aged white people, particularly women, according to federal data released Friday.

Last decade’s severe recession, more drug addiction, “gray divorce,” increased social isolation, and even the rise of the Internet and social media may have contributed to the growth in suicide, according to a variety of people who study the issue.

That same article goes on to say that the suicide rate in this country increased by a whopping 24 percent from 1999 to 2014.

Is that a sign of a healthy nation?

At this point things have gotten so bad that even 70 percent of our pastors are battling depression. The following was authored by respected journalist Jennifer LeClaire

There is no lack of statistics about pastors and depression, burnout, health, low pay, spirituality, relationships and longevity—and none of them are good. According to the Schaeffer Institute, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression, and 71 percent are burned out. Meanwhile, 72 percent of pastors say they only study the Bible when they are preparing for sermons; 80 percent believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families; and 70 percent say they don’t have a close friend.

The Schaeffer Institute also reports that 80 percent of seminary and Bible school graduates will leave the ministry within five years.

We are a deeply, deeply unhappy nation, and we have been trained to turn to pills as the solution.

According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 59 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least one prescription drug at this point, and 15 percent of all U.S. adults are on at least five prescription drugs.

Those are absolutely astounding numbers to me. We are the most drugged up nation on the face of the planet, and yet we just keep on getting less happy.

Here are some more selected numbers from a previous article that back up that claim…

Back in 1987, 61.1 percent of all Americans reported being happy at work. Today, 52.3 percent of all Americans say that they are unhappy at work.

A different survey found that 70 percent of all Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.

One survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12 percent of them said that they were “very happy”.

The number of Americans diagnosed with depression increases by about 20 percent each year.

According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans take antidepressants.

Doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.

The rate of antidepressant use among middle aged women is far higher than for the population as a whole. It is hard to believe, but right now one out of every four women in their 40s and 50s is taking an antidepressant medication.

Compared to children in Europe, children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants.

In America today, there are 60 million people that abuse alcohol and there are 22 million people that use illegal drugs.

America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a wide margin.

America has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.

100 years ago, 4.52 people were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.

We are more isolated, more lonely and more miserable than we have ever been before.

But does that mean that we are on the verge of collapsing as a nation?

Just like during the days of the Roman Empire, most Americans cannot even conceive of a time when America will be no more. And yet we can all see that the foundations are being constantly chipped away at.

Will we be able to survive once our foundations are totally gone?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

The Most Depressing Time Of The Year In The Most Depressed Nation On The Planet

Hope Despair - Public Domain

Did you know that the rate of suicide is highest during this time of the year and that 45 percent of all Americans dread the Christmas season? We are constantly being told that Christmas is the happiest time of the year, but mental health professionals tell us that the exact opposite is true. For large numbers of Americans, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is filled with stress, anxiety, loneliness and family squabbles. And for most people, the reality of the holidays never even comes close to matching up with the glittering ideal portrayed in movies and on television. As a result, depression tends to spike during the month of December. And of course Americans are quite depressed most of the time anyway. In fact, one out of every ten Americans is on an antidepressant as you read this article. No other nation in the world even approaches that level. So right now we are in the midst of the most depressing time of the year in the most depressed nation on the entire planet. What is wrong with this picture?

A lot of people start to feel down this time of the year, and they don’t realize that there are millions of others that are going through the exact same thing. The following excerpt from a Psychology Today article explains that this is something that happens every Christmas season…

We are told that Christmas, for Christians, should be the happiest time of year, an opportunity to be joyful and grateful with family, friends and colleagues. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report the highest incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.

So when we get depressed, what do we do?

Well, we do what we always do for depression.

We start popping pills.

Today, America is the most drugged up nation on the face of the Earth by a wide margin. Just consider the following numbers…

-Americans account for about five percent of the global population, but we consume more than 50 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs. At the moment, the number one selling pharmaceutical drug in America is called Thorazine. It is used as a supplement to other antidepressant drugs.

According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans are currently taking antidepressants.

-The number of people that are clinically diagnosed with depression is growing at a rate of 20 percent annually.

The rate of antidepressant use among middle aged women is far higher than for the population as a whole. It is hard to believe, but right now one out of every four women in their 40s and 50s is taking an antidepressant medication.

-The percentage of women taking antidepressants in the United States is significantly higher than in any other country in the world.

-Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.

If all of these antidepressants are helping, then why are more Americans killing themselves? The suicide rate for Americans between the ages of 35 and 64 increased by nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The number of Americans that die by suicide is now greater than the number of Americans that die as a result of car accidents every year.

Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea that the latest scientific studies indicate that many of these drugs could actually be quite dangerous.

For example, one recent study found that children that take antidepressants are more likely to attempt suicide

High doses of brain-altering chemicals marketed as “anti-depressants” increase the likelihood of self-harm, rather than decreasing the risk, say Harvard health scientists in a study that analyzed data on 162,625 people.

Drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) may raise the risk of suicidal behavior in children and young adults, according to the analysis. SSRI’s are the chemical substances which make up the antidepressants Prozac and Zoloft.

“Our findings offer clinicians an additional incentive to avoid initiating pharmacotherapy at high-therapeutic doses,” Harvard School of Public Health researchers said.

Another recent study found that pregnant mothers that take antidepressants are more likely to have babies with brain defects

Almost one in five children born to mothers taking antidepressants during pregnancy have a brain defect – called a “Chiari type 1 malformation” – according to a groundbreaking study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The study, titled Rate of Chiari I Malformation in Children of Mothers with Depression with and without Prenatal SSRI Exposure, was published May 19 in the peer-reviewed journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

The researchers found that “children of depressed mothers treated with a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy were more likely to develop Chiari type 1 malformations than were children of mothers with no history of depression,” according to their press statement.

Perhaps popping pills is not the solution after all.

If you are battling depression, one of the key things to do is to look at your diet. What we eat and what we drink plays a massive role in how we feel and how our brain functions. If you start eating better, your life will improve in a multitude of ways.

And certainly there are natural ways to battle depression. If you want to learn more about this, Natural News has some great articles on the subject.

But more important than all of those things is the fact that most Americans today simply do not have anything to live for.

These days, most people just seem to be living for themselves. They chase one form of entertainment after another, hoping that something will eventually fill the gaping holes that are constantly aching inside their hearts. Many go to their graves never finding the fulfillment that they were desperately searching for all of their lives.

You have got to have something to live for that really matters. That is something that I have found, and it has made all the difference. No matter how broken your life is right now, the key is to never, ever, ever give up. As long as you keep fighting, there is always hope that things can be turned around.

So don’t give in to depression this Christmas season.

Yes, this world is an incredibly messed up place.

Yes, things are going to get a lot worse in the years ahead.

But that doesn’t mean that the future has to be bleak for you.

The best chapters of your life could be right around the corner, so don’t you ever, ever give up.

(Originally published on End of the American Dream)

30 Million Americans On Antidepressants And 21 Other Facts About America’s Endless Pharmaceutical Nightmare

Pill Bottle - Public Domain

Has there ever been a nation more hooked on drugs than the United States? And I am not just talking about illegal drugs – the truth is that the number of Americans addicted to legal drugs is far greater than the number of Americans addicted to illegal drugs. As you will read about below, more than 30 million Americans are currently on antidepressants and doctors in the U.S. wrote more than 250 million prescriptions for painkillers last year. Sadly, most people got hooked on these drugs very innocently. They trusted that their doctors would never prescribe something for them that would be harmful, and they trusted that the federal government would never approve any drugs that were not safe. And once the drug companies get you hooked, they often have you for life. You see, the reality of the matter is that some of these “legal drugs” are actually some of the most addictive substances on the entire planet. And when they start raising the prices on those drugs, there isn’t much that the addicts can do about it. It is a brutally efficient business model, and the pharmaceutical industry guards their territory fiercely. Very powerful people will often do some really crazy things when there are hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. The following are 22 facts about America’s endless pharmaceutical nightmare that everyone should know…

#1 According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans are currently taking antidepressants.

#2 The rate of antidepressant use among middle aged women is far higher than for the population as a whole. At this point, one out of every four women in their 40s and 50s is taking an antidepressant medication.

#3 Americans account for about five percent of the global population, but we buy more than 50 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs.

#4 Americans also consume a whopping 80 percent of all prescription painkillers.

#5 It is hard to believe, but doctors in the United States write 259 million prescriptions for painkillers each year. Prescription painkillers are some of the most addictive legal drugs, and our doctors are serving as enablers for millions up0n millions of Americans that find themselves hooked on drugs that they cannot kick.

#6 Overall, pharmaceutical drug use in America is at an all-time high. According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70 percent of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and 20 percent of all Americans are on at least five prescription drugs.

#7 According to the CDC, approximately 9 out of every 10 Americans that are at least 60 years old say that they have taken at least one prescription drug within the last month.

#8 In 2010, the average teen in the United States was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.

#9 A very disturbing Government Accountability Office report found that approximately one-third of all foster children in the United States are on at least one psychiatric drug.

#10 An astounding 95 percent of the “experimental medicines” that the pharmaceutical industry produces are found not to be safe and are never approved. Of the remaining 5 percent that are approved, we often do not find out that they are deadly to us until decades later.

#11 One study discovered that mothers that took antidepressants during pregnancy were four times more likely to have a baby that developed an autism spectrum disorder.

#12 It has been estimated that prescription drugs kill approximately 200,000 people in the United States every single year.

#13 An American dies from an unintentional prescription drug overdose every 19 minutes. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, accidental prescription drug overdose is “the leading cause of acute preventable death for Americans”.

#14 In the United States today, prescription painkillers kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined.

#15 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

#16 The number of prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States is five times higher than it was back in 1980.

#17 A survey conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that more than 15 percent of all U.S. high school seniors abuse prescription drugs.

#18 More than 26 million women over the age of 25 say that they are “using prescription medications for unintended uses“.

#19 If all of these antidepressants are helping, then why are more Americans killing themselves? The suicide rate for Americans between the ages of 35 and 64 increased by nearly 30 percent between 1999 and 2010. The number of Americans that die by suicide is now greater than the number of Americans that die as a result of car accidents every year.

#20 Antidepressant use has been linked to mass shootings in America over and over and over again, and yet the mainstream media is eerily quiet about this. Is it because they don’t want to threaten one of their greatest sources of advertising revenue?

#21 The amount of money that the pharmaceutical industry is raking in is astronomical. It has been reported that Americans spent more than 280 billion dollars on prescription drugs during 2013.

If many of these drugs were not so addictive, the pharmaceutical companies would make a lot less money. And pharmaceutical drug addicts often don’t fit the profile of what we think a “drug addict” would look like. For example, CNN shared the story of a 55-year-old grandmother named Cynthia Scudo that become addicted to prescription painkillers…

For Scudo, her addiction began — as they all do — innocently enough.

She sought relief from hip pain, possibly caused by scarring from cesarean sections she had delivering several of her children.

Her then-husband recommended a physician.

“There was no physical therapy offered,” she said of the doctor’s visit. “The first reaction was, let’s give you some drugs.”

He put her on OxyContin.

By the second week, she was physically addicted.

She was popping so much of the painkiller and other drugs such as anti-anxiety Valium that they equated to a dosage for three men.

There is lots and lots of money to be made from addiction. In fact, if the U.S. health care system was a totally separate nation it would actually be the 6th largest economy on the entire globe. We are talking about piles of money larger than most people would ever dare to imagine.

And with so much money floating around, it is quite easy for the pharmaceutical industry to buy the cooperation of our politicians and of the media.

Some time when you are watching television in the evening, consciously take note of how often a pharmaceutical commercial comes on.

It has gotten to the point where we are literally being inundated with these ads.

They are already making hundreds of billions of dollars, and they think that there is room for even more growth.

Will they ever be satisfied?

(Originally posted at The American Dream)

High doses of antidepressants increase self-harm in children: Harvard

Children Sledding - Public Domain

High doses of brain-altering chemicals marketed as “anti-depressants” increase the likelihood of self-harm, rather than decreasing the risk, say Harvard health scientists in a study that analyzed data on 162,625 people.

Drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) may raise the risk of suicidal behavior in children and young adults, according to the analysis. SSRI’s are the chemical substances which make up the antidepressants Prozac and Zoloft.

“Our findings offer clinicians an additional incentive to avoid initiating pharmacotherapy at high-therapeutic doses,” Harvard School of Public Health researchers said.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

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