Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Over-medicated America?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 30, 2015 3:54 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, February 2, 2015:

Are Americans over-medicated? Between 2008 and 2012, the number of Americans who used medication to treat ADHD rose 36%, totaling more than 4.8 million in 2012. On average, a 75-year-old American takes more than 10 medications for various conditions. Prescription drug addiction - particularly to opioid painkillers - kills nearly 17,000 Americans per year.

On Monday's Smart Talk we discuss the safety concerns involved in the over-medication of children, adults, and the elderly. Over-medication can impact different ages in different ways, with the potential for drug interactions highest among middle-aged Americans, and increased chance of death among the elderly who take antipsychotic drugs.

Income level can also impact the way that Americans are affected by over-medication, with children living in poverty being disproportionately medicated for ADHD.

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Dr. Gus Geraci and Dr. Janice Brown

Appearing on the show to discuss the health and economic impacts of over-medication and ways to improve Americans' healthcare are Dr. Janice Brown from Wellspan Health and Dr. Gus Geraci of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-02-02 09:24

    Tom emails:

    Slightly off subject; measles resurgence. I was born in 1951 and had measles as a child. I have vaccinated children and vaccinated grandchildren. Do I need a vaccination and/or booster?

  • Robert D Colgan img 2015-02-02 09:29

    Once the drug mfgs realized how much money they could make from selling medications for ANY condition-------the gloves came off.

    Once the drug mfgs got big enough to begin to purchase votes (through lobbying) -------the fix was on.

    Once the drug mfgs recognized they could control the oversight of the certification process by altering the trial studies--------the game was over.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-02-02 09:41

    Denise writes:

    How do you feel about the use of essential oils such as lavender, melaleuca, peppermint, etc that are readily available and present themselves as natural medicines or alternatives to medicines for many diseases?

  • dr.gus.geraci img 2015-02-02 10:49

    Thanks for the opportunity to appear to discuss this important issue. Appreciate it. To address some comments:
    Tom: No, adults born before 1957 are considered immune.
    Rob: Money can corrupt, and we discussed this on the show. I don't and wouldn't endorse nor support any blanket statements of this nature.
    Denise: "Natural medications" all have side effects and issues. Cyanide is perfectly "natural" so being natural is not a guarantee of safety.
    To all: my answers are worth what I was paid for them. :-)