PLEASE NOTE: First published November 15/10 on “Your Body. Yourself?” – my old blog
I heard the most ridiculous thing on the radio a few minutes ago – and I have four kids so I hear a lot of ridiculous things. Some chefs have whipped up a passion fruit dessert laced with Viagra. They wanted to “reinterpret” the medication into a new kind of aphrodisiac apparently.
Immediately I am trying to figure out how this could work. After all, Viagra is a prescription medication so how can it be sold in food? Is this a BYOBP (bring your own blue pill) deal? Do you have to bring your prescription and show some ID to be served? Do you have to promise that you won’t share a spoon full? I mean come on, if this if supposed to be an aphrodisiac isn’t it almost imperative to share?
Are there chefs out there running renegade from the pharmaceutical boards of the world? Is there about to be an outbreak of tented napkins in finer restaurants everywhere? Is someone going to have heart failure from sampling there neighbours dessert? In a word – NO.
Having heard this ridiculous little tidbit I did what any reasonably tech savvy woman with an interest in wellness would do – I “googled”. I discovered that the dessert in question was prepared for the Gastronomy 2009 fair in Bogota Columbia. How…anti-climatic. Due to the fact that Viagra does require a prescription this little treat will not be publicly available – though I am going to keep “googling” to see how long it takes them to post a recipe.
Ultimately, what I am realizing from this bit of absurdity is my own underlying assumption about prescription medication. The baseline belief that people will do dumb things with medicine. That someone somewhere would be willing to distribute a restricted substance in a gag dessert wasn’t an impossibility for me. I was outraged and could see all kinds of legal issues but I did not immediately assume that this wasn’t something that would happen. What a frightening realization. That we as a culture have become so accepting of the idea that people will abuse prescriptions that I didn’t first question that part of the equation. How sad.
All over the world we have issues with people abusing prescription drugs ranging from narcotic painkillers through to our children’s drugs. Perhaps the pain medication is the most obvious candidate for abuse either by the person to whom it has been given or by someone around them. But psychoactive drugs are also a major issue, from tranquilizers to the Ritalin, a drug most commonly given to children to decrease hyperactivity but abused by others for the speed-like affects it can give those not dealing with AD(H)D.
There are stats and research galore about the problem of prescription drug abuse. The links below will lead you to explore some interesting and informative articles. LINKS: Hamilton, ON statistics – check out the table on page two for a quick summary, a slide show of commonly abused presscription drugs, a local Victoria researcher comments about our attitudes towards pharmacauticals. Of course for those into less empirical research just pick up a copy of People, US, or some other weekly gossip magazine and you can read which celebrity is checking into rehab for vicodin abuse or whatever the current drug of choice might be – for the first, or the fourth time.
I am not a fan of drug taking for every problem, modern pharmaceuticals are an amazing tool in the wellness arsenal. Pharmacology provides us with tools to battle acute illness, to control symptoms, to ward of illness, to manage and slow the progression of long term illness. What a wonderful tool. How tragic that we choose to abuse and overuse this tool. We need to view pharmaceuticals with respect and as the potent tool they are in our quest to live long, healthy lives.