The use of psychoactive drugs has increased steadily over the last decade. Not only are illegal drugs being passed around schools and parties, but also, prescription drugs have steadily climbed in their distribution for things like depression and anxiety disorders. Most of us have a layman’s understanding of what these drugs are, how they work, and what potential dangers are included with their use. We get a lot of our information from the newspaper and trust that it is accurate. While newspapers are supposed to work to remain unbiased, people and the feelings write them and experiences of those people come into play during the reporting. Newspapers around the nation are reporting on the drugs and their effects on the community. The accuracy of the newspapers information can be largely varied, when it comes to legally prescribed psychoactive drugs, however, for illegal drugs the information is less subjective and usually more accurate.
While some papers tout the many benefits of psychoactive drugs, there are others that side against their use. The Washington Post ran an article in which the medical community was blasted for prescribing them so often. In the article, it was alleged that doctors routinely prescribe these powerful drugs on no more than a 15 minute meeting with the patient and the patient’s request for the prescription. While this may be true in the rare exception, recent years have actually caused a more cautious approach to the use of these medications according to most news sources. Who is telling the truth and who is being inaccurate? It is probably a mixture of both. While we are aware of the benefit these drugs give people, we do hear stories about them being prescribed incorrectly and used for years unnecessarily.
Newspapers have a difficult time ascertaining the accuracy of these drugs, because to date there are no solid medical tests to prove or disprove many of the conditions they are used for. Depression, anxiety, and other disorders are diagnosed through means other than a physiological test. When a newspaper tries to report on the drugs it can only go by what is out there, and to date there is no proof or disproof of that information’s accuracy.
When it comes to illegal psychoactive drugs, the newspapers have the ability to be more accurate in their reporting. The drugs are illegal, they produce certain desired effects and they have known uncertainties in their compounds, which makes them potentially dangerous. A newspaper can accurately report these facts more easily than it can guarantee the information it has on anti-depressants are for an absolute condition.