Confessions of a Former Pharmaceutical Sales Rep.

Gwen Olsen spent fifteen years as a pharmaceutical sales rep working for such healthcare giants as Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Abbott Laboratories. She enjoyed a successful, fast-paced career until several conscious-altering experiences began awakening her to the dangers lurking in every American medicine cabinet. Her most poignant lessons, however, came as both victim and survivor of life-threatening adverse drug reactions. After leaving pharmaceutical sales in 2000, Gwen worked in the natural foods industry first as an Account Manager for Nature's Way, and then as a Regional Sales Manager for Gaia Herbs. She is currently a writer, speaker, and natural health consultant. Gwen lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, son, dog and five cats.

Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher: God’s Call to Loving Arms. The United States health care system is killing Americans at an alarming rate, even though we spend over fifteen percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) on health care. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, our health care outcomes ranked only fifteenth among twenty-five industrialized nations worldwide. Adverse effects from prescription drugs have become the third-leading killer of Americans. Only heart disease and cancer claim more lives. We trust our doctors to inform us and our government to protect us from medical malfeasance that may put profits ahead of consumer health and safety. But the fine line walked by the FDA between the interests of the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the American public has continually been crossed. The result is the unleashing of an unprecedented number of lethal drugs on the U.S. market!

Gwen Olsen learned firsthand the danger that lurks in every American’s medicine cabinet, working in the pharmaceutical industry. But her most poignant education would come as a victim and, ultimately, as a survivor.

Rigorously researched and documented, Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher: God’s Call to Loving Arms is a moving, human drama that illustrates the catastrophic consequences of a health care system run amuck!

Questions and Answers

by Trung Nguyen

For people who are on psychotropic drugs or are thinking about going on them, what are some important facts they should know about these drugs?

Do you have all day…? Because there is so much misinformation that the manufacturers have put out about these products, it would really merit doing a little research of your own before allowing someone to treat you or your dependents with psychotropic drugs. My suggestion is to enter the name of the drug into a computer search engine followed by the words side effects and controversy. Each category of psychotropic drug has its own hidden risks and dangers—especially as they relate to children—and this activity will open a can of worms that should have anyone thinking twice about taking any of them!

Here are just a few concerns regarding some of the categories of psychotropic drugs:

Antidepressants can cause moderate to serious side effects that mimic other psychiatric disorders. A large percentage of people will experience anxiety, agitation, irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness, tremor, palpitations, dry mouth, etc. Another smaller percentage can become psychotic or experience serotonin syndrome toxicity, akathisia, mania, suicidal or homicidal ideation, paranoia, agoraphobia, and may actually act out violently harming themselves or others.

However, the most insidious hidden fact about the newer SSRIs [Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro...] is their addiction and withdrawal profiles (what the drug companies like to refer to as “Discontinuation Syndrome”). Although some of the most addictive SSRI [Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor] drugs available were originally marketed as non-addicting, now many long-term users are suffering hopelessly after years of trying unsuccessfully to discontinue their medication. Some patients have lost their lives in the process of trying. Others have formed support groups online searching for answers and compassion. For anyone considering going on or off an antidepressant, I recommend spending a little time at the following research site: http://ssristories.com.

ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder] stimulants are classified as Schedule II narcotics. They not only have significant potential for abuse and addiction, they also have black box warnings for stroke, sudden death, heart attack, psychosis, and, of course, can cause depression, nervousness, sleeplessness, agitation, violence, and so on.

A recent follow-up report from the National Institute of Health’s prestigious MTA Study, showed that ADHD drug treatments did not prove to be effective long-term and, in fact, may cause more harm than good. Particularly, since stimulants were shown to cause a delay of linear growth in children. One popular ADHD drug, Strattera, also includes warnings for liver failure and suicidal ideation.

Anxiolytics, or short-acting benzodiazepines, have created one of the biggest addiction nightmares ever released on an unsuspecting public. These drugs can literally be hell to withdraw from! Many medical detox facilities will not touch benzodiazepines. Rapid withdrawal can produce seizures. Long-term these drugs exacerbate depression, anxiety and panic, sleep disturbance, flu-like symptoms, affect short-term memory and cognitive function, and can also create agoraphobic symptoms that completely disable the individual rendering them unable to leave the house. It’s just another one of Pharma’s quick-fix deceits that never fixes anything—only intensifies the problem long-term.

Atypical antipsychotics and their older cousins, the neuroleptics, can cause permanent disfiguring tics and dyskinesia, akathisia, mania, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, weight gain, elevated cholesterol and diabetes. There is also a high incidence of sedation, dry mouth, urinary retention, constipation and blurred vision reported with the drugs. A recent report showed a 100% increase in mortality for elderly, dementia patients given these drugs. However, 1 in 4 nursing home patients is currently taking them!

People should not only inform themselves about the drugs they are using, but they should also research the so-called “diseases” for which they were prescribed. Psychiatry has a lucrative alliance with the pharmaceutical industry, whereby they invent and promote ”diseases” that have no scientific validity whatsoever. Then, the drug manufacturers are free to produce and market expensive, branded, addictive products, often at the taxpayers’ expense, to “treat”—never cure—these fictitious diseases.

Many times the underlying cause of the symptoms which get people branded with a “mental illness” has a true medical origin such as hypoglycemia, heavy metal toxicity, infectious disease, thyroid dysfunction, food allergies or nutritional deficiencies. Other times, the symptoms have an emotional or psychological origin requiring counseling or other non-pharmacological intervention. However, for any of these issues, drugs are a Band-Aid at best and may actually escalate rather than help the problem.

If the doctor’s diagnostic testing only consists of a third-party’s observation of behavior and attitudes and perhaps a Pharma-sponsored questionnaire, rather than valid medical tests that examine blood, urine, hair, saliva, etc, (in other words, scientific diagnostic tools), how could one possibly expect to be “cured” of their symptoms? You will most likely never get to the root of the problem with a psychiatrist, so how can you expect to fix it with their drugs?

Psychiatry will convince you that YOU, your genetics, and/or your brain are defective which creates a biochemical imbalance, and that it will be necessary to take their expensive, brain-damaging therapeutics for the rest of your life in order to “balance your brain chemistry”. Balderdash…!

Promotion of this theory just ensures you become a lifelong mental patient for them and a lifelong customer for the pharmaceutical industry! Unless, of course, you are one of the thousands of patients that cannot take the mental torture often produced by these drugs, and choose to take your own life instead.

People need to stop being duped by Pharma’s media “spin doctors” and slick, Madison Avenue advertisers and start taking their power back through self-education. The information is out there. But you can’t find truth with your head stuck in the sand! No one is discounting that many people suffer with the symptoms that are treated by these drugs and labeled as “mental illness”.

I understand that it is extremely uncomfortable to discover you have been deceived, and possibly victimized, by a greedy institution or corporation. But, I constantly meet people who would rather shoot the messenger than be enlightened. I dare say, in this issue, that ignorance is bliss…In our healthcare climate today, your willingness to remain ignorant may well cost you or someone you love their life. It is imperative—now more than ever—that we each take personal responsibility for our health and the health of our children, and that we help inform others so they can do the same!

You sometimes mention the “Revolving Door Syndrome.” What is the Revolving Door Syndrome for those who are not familiar with it?

In psychiatry, the Revolving Door Syndrome refers to the phenomenon where patients who are diagnosed as “mentally ill” and treated with psychotropic drugs end up requiring repeated hospitalization. Most psychiatric patient’s mental conditions deteriorate over time, ensuring their continued need for more drugs and subsequent hospitalizations. Thus, the reference is to the revolving door going in and out of the mental hospital...

Insight

Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher: God’s Call to Loving Arms. The United States health care system is killing Americans at an alarming rate, even though we spend over fifteen percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) on health care. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, our health care outcomes ranked only fifteenth among twenty-five industrialized nations worldwide. Adverse effects from prescription drugs have become the third-leading killer of Americans. Only heart disease and cancer claim more lives. We trust our doctors to inform us and our government to protect us from medical malfeasance that may put profits ahead of consumer health and safety. But the fine line walked by the FDA between the interests of the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the American public has continually been crossed. The result is the unleashing of an unprecedented number of lethal drugs on the U.S. market!

Gwen Olsen learned firsthand the danger that lurks in every American’s medicine cabinet, working in the pharmaceutical industry. But her most poignant education would come as a victim and, ultimately, as a survivor.

Rigorously researched and documented, Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher: God’s Call to Loving Arms is a moving, human drama that illustrates the catastrophic consequences of a health care system run amuck!

Taking a drug addicted loved one to a drug rehab center is the best way to help that person.