Prescription pill rates are at an all time high. Look no further than stars like Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe to see the ultimate result of overdose- accidental or not. All pill abusers. All dead. Already at the beginning of this year, Los Angeles County had reported a growth in prescription drug abuse. Face it… another addition to your routine vices is not helping you get healthy, even if it is medicine.
Your daily choices are either working to kill you, or keep you alive and well. In the US most prescribed drugs are psychotropics, or mind altering, which is something of interest because these people are usually physically healthy. Mental health has only recently become part of medical history and so have the man made pills, but why the rush to treat issues of the mind through chemicals? Give yourself power over your well-being.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” –Hippocrates*
Pills can’t replace good old fashion food, even the ancient Greeks knew this. This designer drug abuse problem is on the rise in California and looks like it's due to continue. Prescription drugs are a problem in our society for a number of reasons. For example, expectant mothers need to be especially cautious when taking pharmaceuticals now that babies have been born showing signs of inheriting the addictions their mothers had.
Nutrition isn’t going to cure your prescription drug addiction unfortunately, but it can definitely help build a healthy immune system to keep you healthy overall. Cook whenever you can and be conscious of the fact that when you buy and eat food you don’t see prepared in front of you. Even the best restaurants in the world should be under speculation.
Access is always the first obstacle to surpass. Though money has the power to give you whatever you desire, without money or a source located at a feasible distance you are stuck with what food is available, nutritional or not. A food dessert is a term used to label a district with little to no access to healthy and affordable foods. East Los Angeles contains many of such districts.
Public Matters, a civic engagement and social enterprise group, has already started to tackle the issue by increasing East Los Angeles’ access to healthier foods through what they call market makeovers. Public Matters is working with the UCLA School of public health and USC on a five year study funded by the NIH. The study is targeted at residents living in East Los Angeles and cardiovascular health.
Some helpful options in your area:
East LA Community Service Center - Offers nutrition education and low cost lunches
The Los Angeles Regional food bank has compiled a list of agencies that serve daily meals
Also be on the look-out for urban farms as urban agriculture is on track to continue emerging within the Los Angeles community.
*Hippocrates: an Ancient Greek physician, often thought of as the “Father of Medicine”