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Drug Control in the United States - How’s it Working Now?

Does anyone ever wonder how our government thinks when it comes to controlling medications? Sorry, that is kind of an oxymoron. Our government thinking?

For years in my early practice of medicine the very best medications we had for weight loss were the amphetamines.

Historically amphetamines, speed, or bennies (a few of the street names used), were prescribed for our armed services members, our bomber and fighter pilots and for many jobs requiring a higher level of alertness and avoidance of fatigue.

Suddenly in 1971 amphetamines were put on a schedule II controlled substances list. Someone, in spite of wide spread use for many years, decided that these substances could be abused.

Multiple countries decided this would be a good ban and medications of this class should be controlled. Of course we all know how that worked out. Now the average kid without a chemistry background can produce “METH” in their kitchen lab. Meth is short for methamphetamine, just one more related stimulant that makes people feel good. As one of my professor friends said at the University of Minnesota one time, “Since when should it be against the law to feel good?”

Well, now we live in one of the fattest countries in the world with obesity now being considered as the largest contributor to premature death in the United States. I guess just recently Mexico took the title away from us, but I think we can win it back if the properly endowed people head north.

So if obesity is one of the greatest killers, why do we outlaw one of the most successful medications ever to hit society to control the problem?

If it is good enough for our fighter pilots and astronauts, isn’t it good enough for us?

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