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Originally published January 4 2005

Acomplia drug hype reveals mythology of prescription drugs, shortcut philosophy of American culture

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A new weight loss drug, Acomplia, is all the rage, even though it hasnít yet been approved! People are talking about the drug with such a degree of excitement that weight loss centers say virtually every patient who comes in is asking for Acomplia.

But what is it about this drug that's so appealing? And more importantly, why is news about it spreading in a way that could only be called viral marketing? The answer is that what's being marketed here, what's spreading through word-of-mouth from one person to the next, is not the drug itself, but actually the mythology surrounding the drug.

The mythology of the drug has become a living story. And regardless of whether or not the story is true, it is a seductive story. Perhaps you've heard it yourself. The story goes something like this:

If you take this drug, Acomplia, you will automatically eat less because your hunger will be turned off. And when you start losing weight, the first place you will lose body fat is your mid-section. The pounds will just melt away. And better yet, your cholesterol will go down and your blood pressure will return to healthy levels.

But that's not all. The drug, miraculously, will also help you stop smoking. And if you're addicted to alcohol, it is also said you will stop drinking! But why stop there? The mythology is so seductive that we might as well add more things to the story. Maybe the drug will repair your broken relationships with family members, spouses, and co-workers. Perhaps the drug will quadruple the balance in your bank account. Maybe the drug will even improve your appearance or add ten pounds of lean muscle mass to your body each and every year, without working out at all! I mean, why not? If the drug is going to do all these other things, let's just make the story even more seductive.

This is the mythology surrounding Acomplia. And of course, there is nothing in the mythology that is true. In fact, there is not a single clinical trial proving a single one of these suggestions. The drug hasnít been shown to result in permanent weight loss, lower cholesterol, reduce smoking addiction, or help people stop drinking alcohol. None of these things have been demonstrated with the drug.

So why is Acomplia so remarkably popular even before it has been approved by the FDA? The reason itís popular has nothing whatsoever to do with science or nutrition or health. It has to do with the seductive idea that we as Americans can pursue whatever lifestyles we want and yet have never have to face the consequences for making such decisions.

The mythology says that we can eat all the junk foods we want, avoid physical exercise, avoid having to quit the cigarette habit, continue binge drinking, and yet somehow this magic pill will release us from the natural consequences of all those actions.

The seduction of Acomplia is that it takes over our responsibilities. It allows us to shift control of our lives from our own conscious intentions to a prescription drug handed out to us by doctors. It is in this very mythology that the danger to Americans hides. Not in the drug itself -- it is the mythology thatís dangerous, not the chemical. The seductive qualities of this drug encourage people to release themselves from responsibility. They encourage people to disempower themselves, to shift their power to external influences. Rather than self-discipline, wisdom or education taking a role in the person's outcome, the only factor that counts, according to the mythology, is the name of the drug you choose to take.

Of course, Americans absolutely love this story. They love it because there is a great unwillingness in Western societies, but especially in America, to take responsibility for shaping one's own health outcome. In America, we like to blame everybody else for our situation. We don't want to admit that we put ourselves into the health condition we are currently experiencing. Even our conventional medical system helps us give away our power by saying that itís our genes, not our actions, that cause chronic disease. That way we can conveniently blame our parents when we get heart disease after eating a lifetime of fried foods and hydrogenated oils.

It is a victim mentality, and it is precisely the mentality that pharmaceutical companies would very much like patients to consider integrating into their own lives. Because people who believe they are victims of circumstance always seek external solutions rather than inner transformation. And those solutions more often than not come in the form of prescription drugs.

In contrast, people who refuse to be victims look for answers within themselves. They understand that they have the ability to alter their outcomes by making new decisions, by learning new information and by shaping their lives one day at a time, in a way that serves their long-term goals.

If Acomplia is approved, will likely be a blockbuster success regardless of whether or not it actually works. It will be a financial success because people are willing to pay almost anything to perpetuate the mythology that prescription drugs can release us from a lifetime of poor decisions.

But there's more to this story! Acomplia will likely be a very popular drug, and five or ten years down the road, after tens of millions of Americans have taken it, we may begin to find some problems with it, in the same way that we found serious health problems with Vioxx, Baycol, NSAIDs and antidepressants. People may be harmed by Acomplia in ways that modern doctors and the makers of Acomplia cannot foresee. And when that happens, the very people who are taking the drug will then turn around and blame the drug companies for their problems!

Because once again, the takers of the drugs are taking on the role of the victim. They believe they have been victimized by bad genes. They have been victimized by having bad luck in getting chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. And they have been victimized, they will claim, by this evil drug, Acomplia, which has given them some strange side effects. And thus the cycle of playing the victim and demanding external recourse and will continue.

This cycle will not end until individuals in America and elsewhere around the world have a reckoning -- that the power to shape their lives and their health outcomes rests entirely within themselves. They are responsible for their health outcome. No one else can take that responsibility for them. And if they have not created the health situation they desire, they have no one else to blame.

Now certainly, genes can be a factor. There are some people who are born with greater ability to store food as body fat. There are other people born with stronger hearts. Some people didn't get good nutrition when they were infants, because their pregnant mothers didnít know about good nutrition and didn't feed them well, and thus they may be born with a predisposition to adult onset-diabetes later in life.

But these are not points of surrender. These are the realities of life. None of us are born with perfect bodies and perfect circumstances. And if you look around at the most successful people in the world, you will find that they came from less than ideal circumstances. They were forced by necessity to take charge of their own life and create an outcome that would serve them better. It is no excuse to say, 'We donít have perfect genes.' Or 'We don't have a perfect environment.' We can no longer place this responsibility for our health on these outside factors.

Granted, it is seductive, the idea that we can lower our cholesterol not by changing our foods or engaging in physical exercise, but by taking a magic pill called a statin drug. There is another seductive idea that we don't have to take responsibility for our emotional health or our mental state. Instead, we can just take antidepressant drugs and let the chemicals take over for us. I speak in far more detail on this subject in a book called "Health Seduction," found at

The real result of this seduction, by the way, is perhaps worse than you think. There are millions of men now who can't even get an erection because they have abused their bodies to the point that their reproductive organs no longer respond! And they have to use Viagra just to make their body parts function in a normal healthy way. And now women are interested in female Viagra. Because they've abused their health, too, and they donít have the sexual energy they once had when they were younger. And they want it back. They think the answer is to look outside themselves in a pill or a patch or some other drug that will solve their problems for them.

The ultimate price of all this, by the way, is that we as individuals have sold our souls. We are no longer human beings that operate in harmony with the natural world, we are people who try to conquer our own internal ecosystems as well as the ecosystems in the natural world around us. And we do that through the use of synthetic chemicals and prescription drugs.

The message that we truly need to hear is one I've been repeating for years: being healthy does not require the use of synthetic chemicals. Being healthy is something that your body was designed to achieve naturally, you have a blueprint for health in every cell of your body right now. It's called your DNA. And your DNA was designed and fine-tuned over hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution to thrive and survive in harmony with the natural environment.

You come from a long line of survivors -- people who could get erections, people who didn't die from heart disease before they could reproduce. The human body is designed for perfect health. The only reason we are not in perfect health today is because we have given up our power and, instead, put the responsibility for our health on drugs like Acomplia that we think can save us from all of the bad decisions and lifestyle mistakes that we continue to make on a daily basis.

Reality folks, is that a drug cannot replace good decisions. A chemical cannot reverse decades of being sedentary and refusing to get off your ass and go work out once in a while. A prescription drug cannot reverse the toxicity of the foods that you have been buying and consuming from grocery stores each and every day of your life.

As people take Acomplia in a desperate effort to pursue the mythology of this drug, they are only going to do themselves more harm. They are going to wind up in a situation where they are still obese, they still have body fat, they still have high cholesterol, they still have diabetes and heart disease and cancer. And now they're spending $400/month on a synthetic chemical that has other side effects that are yet unknown.

That's the reality of the situation. That's what tens of millions of Americans are aiming for right now in placing so much hope in this unproven synthetic chemical that they believe will excuse them from a lifetime of pursuing unhealthy habits. Call it a deal with the devil if you like. But it really is nothing more complicated than unjustified belief in the mythology of prescription drugs.


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