Referring to modern day society as The Prozac generation is unfair, as it excludes the many other popular prescription drugs worthy of the phrase. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is the largest in the world having total revenue of $315 billion in 2007.
The ability of humans to produce artificial, psychological substances which mimic feelings of the body is unethical, unless the person is in dire need of the drug. The prescriptions for these drugs should not be given out nonchalantly, as it would be altering the ability of the human body to control itself.
Magazines, television, radio and internet are all territories for drug companies to market their prescriptions, as they list a wide array of symptoms for the specified disorder. Advertisements unnecessarily elaborate on disorders, stressing such things as natural imbalances in an attempt to persuade consumers they are in need of a cure.
In 2006, 74 percent of all adults were on at least one prescription drug. With many generic brands available and new prescriptions constantly being sent to the FDA for approval, the range of illnesses that can be treated by medicine has grown, overlapping with feelings which were once deemed natural to our bodies.
Depression was once experienced naturally, but there are now antidepressants aiding those who find it difficult. In 2007, Lexapro was the ranked the ninth most prescribed drug in the U.S. Innovative antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro and Zoloft have offered consumers an alternative to experiencing severe sadness, a substitute unavailable to earlier generations. Although these drugs rid the mind of sadness, it can be disputed whether they are doing their users more harm than good. Some users develop a need for the drugs to maintain their endorphin levels. While these prescriptions have assisted many in difficult times of mourning, divorce and other such sad events, the fact remains that some drugs provide new, questionable ways to change emotions through the artificial release of endorphins in the brain.
Another drug that has become more prevalent among youth is Adderall, which is No. 85 on the 2008 Top 200 prescriptions list, according to PharmacyTimes.com. Being an amphetamine, the drug allows its user to have extended periods of concentration as it releases dopamine in the brain. The drug is prescribed to people suffering from ADHD, in an effort to help them maintain their focus in the classroom and at home with homework.
Adderall is currently a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, recognized for both its abuse by college students and its addictiveness. Adderall inspires thought of whether or not it is fair to students who can produce the same intellectual ability without the medication. Originally intended to assist those with attention disorders, Adderall is becoming a new recreational drug. Although when prescribed it helps the users attention disorder, it crosses the boundary by allowing academic skills to be acquired artificially, especially in the cases where a user does not have a prescription.
The 21st century has brought about new technology, perhaps none more controversial than the pharmaceutical industry. With the growth of this industry arrive many opportunities to manufacture new drugs to cure new illnesses. One can hope that the industry does not find any more ways to intrude on our natural emotions than it already has, as human emotion can already be replicated in so many ways thanks to prescriptions. "