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Making Antibiotics Enemy Number One


I'm a pretty upbeat person, generally speaking, but Dr. Jonny Anomaly's article in the Journal of Medical Ethics has me concerned. Michael Cook covers it on BioEdge.org. Anomaly's main point is that liberal use of antibiotics is worse than recreational drug use.

Anomaly asserts that legalizing narcotics like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and so on would take a bite out of crime. However, according to a number of studies, nations who had legalized the aforementioned drugs experienced an increase in criminal activities.

I'll pass over Anomaly's breathtaking "tough luck" attitude toward families and neighborhoods affected by substance abuse. However, I will question whether Anomaly considered the cost of occupational injuries brought about by narcotics use while working. While alcohol is a huge factor in workplace accidence, drug use is also the cause of workplace accidents, increased absenteeism, loss of productivity, and increased violent behavior.

As for antibiotics supposedly being worse, it's important to remember that they alone are not responsible for everything they get blamed for. Besies the use of too many antibiotics in animal feed, one of the reasons we have seen an increase in resistant bacteria is due to an increase in risky human behavior, like sexual promiscuity.

Sadly, unless we address dysfunctional behavior and start living as we were designed to do, I suspect that we will see an increase in other deadly super-bugs. Meanwhile, let's count the cost of narcotics use before we make heroin legal and penicillin illegal.

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