Thursday, February 21, 2002

UTAH WATCH: Via Fark comes the story that Utah leads the nation in prescription antidepressant drug use. The article indulges in the usual sociocultural explanations:

Few here question the veracity of the study, which was a tabulation of prescription orders, said Dr. Curtis Canning, president of the Utah Psychiatric Assn. But trying to understand the "why" has puzzled many, he said.

"The one true answer is we don't know," said Canning, who has a private practice in Logan. "I have some hunches.

"In Mormondom, there is a social expectation--particularly among the females--to put on a mask, say 'Yes' to everything that comes at her and hide the misery and pain. I call it the 'Mother of Zion' syndrome. You are supposed to be perfect because Mrs. Smith across the street can do it and she has three more kids than you and her hair is always in place. I think the cultural issue is very real. There is the expectation that you should be happy, and if you're not happy, you're failing."

The happy thing is an American ideal, but carried to the nth degree by social pressure. But I'm baffled. Mormons can't have alcoholor caffeine but they can have all the CVS pharmacy drugs they want? There's your explanation right there: no caffeine no beer make Homer pester his family practitioner for the sweet sweet legal drugs. There is probably a legalize pot argument here too but its tangental, as if you could prescribe pot Mormons would be able to smoke it. I mean, is that the difference? You can only take scientifically verifiable and approved by the FDA drugs? Or what? Another tidbit:

Utah also leads the nation in the use of narcotic painkillers such as codeine and morphine-based drugs, the study found, and is ranked seventh in total prescriptions overall. Kentucky ranked first.

Church fathers, let them have coffee. They need it.

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