Overdosed America Paperback Edition Available

"Some of the nation's worst drug dealers aren't peddling on the street corners, they're occupying corporate suites. Overdosed America reveals the greed and corruption that drive health care costs skyward and now threatens the public health. Before you see a doctor, you should read this book." - Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

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Excerpts: Introduction | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14

From a nurse practitioner working in correctional health

Hi, John
Just now listening to your last interview on C2C — I get behind. You are not only my hero but my role model as well; I am a 62-year-old man, a nurse practitioner working in correctional health. All my patients are convicted felons, every one of them. However, they are all someone's father, brother, son — someone's loved one and I do my best.
On the upside of correctional medicine, all the drugs I prescribe are generics and I never have to stop to talk with drug detail reps — never! Yes, I agree with you on almost everything; my exception is your comment about salt.
The ancient word for salt was 'hal'; hence, I would assume that halitosis really means that a person's breath smell like salt. In that case, 'hallelujah' may translated to: "Glory be, I found the salt". Throughout the ages, civilized people highly prized and paid dearly for sodium. So, why is it now so bad for our health? Where can I access information that salt restriction is actually beneficial?
Thank you,


Thanks for your kind letter. On the salt issue, you may be correct for most people--but nobody's yet figured out how to identify the people are who are going to be harmed by salt. The Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote an excellent epidemiological piece about the harms of salt (available on the internet). This issue may be analogous to the push to give all school children Hepatitis B vaccine, choosing to immunize everyone when it's still possible to be sure to immunize those children who will go on to adopt high risk lifestyles and behaviors in the future.

Not sure about how best to procede on salt, but I am sure that the work that you are doing with prison inmates is tremendously important--a health care provider treating prisoners as fundamentally worthy human beings is probably the most rehabilitative thing that can be done. So please keep up the good work and know that giving even one person the opportunity to see himself as worthy is a great achievement.

All the best,

John Abramson MD