Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Dumbest Generation

Yesterday I went to our local mall with my wife and two of our three children to get some last-minute school shopping done. While the girls were looking at shoes, I ventured over to the bookstore with my son to see if there was anything interesting to read.

Personally, I love to read books on politics and history. So I was looking in that section. I found a book that I've been looking for since early in the summer, so I grabbed it. But in the politics section there was another book that caught my eye: The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)

I didn't grab it....yet. But I will probably purchase it in the near future.

Just seeing the book made me think about the younger patients that I have interacted with over the last few years. Based on the title of the book and these interactions, I would tend to agree that they are the dumbest generation, but not necessarily because of the digital world.

When I think of the under-30 patients that I see on a regular basis, I don't have much hope for the future. When I factor out the antibiotics and asthma patients, what's left?

At Happy Drug World it's not pretty.

We've got fat fat fatties picking up their Type II diabetes and cholesterol pills. And these people are having children who are growing up in the same households where the main forms of sustenance are KFC, McDonalds, and Mt Dew.

Then there are the people coming over from the counseling center. Former and current heroin/meth/crack abusers whose brains are so fried that they are now almost comatose from all of the antipsychotic medications that they are on. Some of these people are taking doses that would knock an elephant out for a few days.

The other patients from the counseling center come in with their orders for clonazepam so they can feel drunk while working rather than actually being drunk at work. The old "side effect of my medication so you can't fire me" approach. When I see these people at the grocery store, there's usually a case or two of a not-so-fine alcoholic beverage sitting in their cart.

Besides these patients, we have all the people who are sad. On any given morning I dispense enough antidepressants that the entire town ought to be grinning ear-to-freaking-ear. I have my personal thoughts on why everybody is on a happy pill, but I'll spare you from them.

I could go on at length about all of the metronidazole, azithromycin 1 gram, you-name-it for your socially acquired conditions, but if you are in retail you know what I'm taking about.

And finally there are the people with anxiety and pain. Some many people under the age of thirty with anxiousness and pain. It would be interesting to see a report on the volume of prescriptions for Xanax, Vicodin, and Ultram that are dispensed to the under-30 crowd. It would probably scare the crap out of us.

The under-30 crowd has been raised in an environment of "if it feels good, do it". That has lead to a generation of people as described above.

Welcome to retail pharmacy, my friends. Where we get to interact with the dumbest generation on an hourly, if not more frequent, basis.


The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

Thanks for depressing me this morining Eric, lol. Seriously, I know what you are talking about. It can be scary to think about the state of the younger generation. They seem overly depressed and over medicated.
It seems to me that any kid with any kind of problem in school these days is just put on Ritalin or Concerta or Adderall. And I am personally shocked at the levels of depression I see among middle school and high school aged young men and women. Why is there such a great deal of depression now?
I think that young people just don't take good care of themselves and obesity is taking over the country for the entire population and not just the younger generation. But what can be done to reverse what now seems like a runaway train heading down the road to heart disease, diabetes, and death?
The younger generation needs to put down their cell phones and stop texting long enough to actually do something about their physical and mental health. But that is about as likely as world peace in my opinion!

The Ole' Apothecary said...

You just inspired my latest post:


Jen said...

Hey, I'm in that generation and I completely agree! :) Walking around my college campus, I'm in shock at the stupidity and disappointed that survival of the fittest doesn't take them out when they walk in front of a speeding bus. That said, I do have a prescription for Xanax, but 30 pills lasts me about 3 months. My doctor attributes my anxiety to being in school. I'm freaking out about getting older and not having a set career yet. My BA in history was fun yet useless, so now I'm chasing the ol' pharmacy dream despite hating a lot of things the patients and corporation do to me as a tech and hating them for what they do to their pharmacists. So as I mope through my master's program and take my pre-pharm courses and try to work to pay for school, yeah I panic attack out for being a perfectionist. But I know what you mean about the typical BZD patient. They want it early, along with an early fill on the pain medicine they lost. The Ultram isn't strong enough so they took more than necessary. They don't want their blood pressure medicine for $5 but will pay over $60 for the Soma that isn't covered under insurance. I hate my generation. I feel like we're going to blow up the Earth if the 60+ baby boomers in office don't do it first.


MOnster a.k.a monica said...

I think it's because the younger generation are more stressed, with the multitasks they have to do. School, work, friends, etc etc. Also the higher pressures these days on looking good and fitting in to the society.
It always saddens me as a pharmacy assistant when I see an antidepressant being handed out. Especially if the person accepting them don't even look like they are depressed. I guess I'll have to get used to it before I graduate to become a pharmacist.
But I think for now, we should be more understanding. We never know when our closed ones would be affected as well.