The Miter

Reliance on Antibiotics Shows Danger for the Future

Clara Costa, Editor

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The American pharmaceutical industry has grown immensely over the past century and has developed many new advancements in helping the American people achieve the goal of living healthier, longer lives. But we as a country are becoming too dependent on antibiotics, and it could potentially have devastating effects on how the world will function in the future.

The New York Times reported that the meat industry amounts to 70 percent of the antibiotics used in America. By treating sick animals and also feeding antibiotics to healthy ones to ensure that they don’t become sick, the meat that is being consumed by citizens is continuously affecting how capable humans are of warding off bacteria because they’re absorbing what those animals consume, therefore making us sicker.

In January of 2017, a woman was announced dead in Washoe County, Nevada, because the bacteria found in her body was resistant to every strain of antibiotic that she had been given.

Many people don’t understand just what antibiotics do to the human body and why it is so detrimental to prescribe them carelessly.

Antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria in our bodies that come from disease and sickness, but it also destroys the microbiome in our gut lining that is so essential to a healthy lifestyle. It is imperative to feed the microbiome good bacteria so that it can help prevent from illness and build up the immune system. By killing the microbiome, we are only more susceptible to disease.

Antibiotics are used to treat even the most minor of symptoms nowadays. As a teen dealing with moderate acne, I was prescribed doxycycline, an antibiotic, within seconds of the dermatologist walking into the room. The problem of my acne hasn’t been fixed because antibiotics are only a temporary solution to a bigger problem. But the fact that it was so carelessly prescribed only goes to show how dependent we as a society have become on them to provide temporary fixes and ignore the bigger, underlying issues that are occurring in our bodies.

If we, as an American society, can become more selective on when to feed antibiotics to livestock and when to prescribe them to patients, by considering other underlying causes before jumping to the use of antibiotics, we can prolong the use of helpful antibiotic methods while we’re able to explore healthier alternatives to the impending issue of antibiotic resistance.  

 

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Reliance on Antibiotics Shows Danger for the Future