We have become a society that is obsessed with medication. From lack of sleep to lack of motivation, the optimal amount of happiness to just the right amount of energy, we have a magic pill for everything. The elite of the world realized long ago, that if marketed right, and the right people are bought, then drugs previously used for recreational purposes but no commercial value, can contribute greatly to the noble cause that capitalism promotes, which is encapsulated in one brilliant tag line: Time is Money. Willing ways, Ehsaas clinic, not to mention the elite ‘Therapy works’, are all run by marketing geniuses. Experts in minting money, and keeping you on drugs at the same time, they take millions from you, brainwashing and manipulating parents into remedies for their ‘astray’ children. This is a notion, a concept that has permeated into the very core of society. Even recreational drugs taken to escape the monotony of daily life are centered on ‘performance enhancement’ In an era bygone, a rowdy child would be given a slap on the wrist or sent to the headmaster. Now, all over the world, he or she is put on ‘anti-depressant’ medication, or the popular and ‘in’ ADD (Attention deficit disorder) medicines. It has become fashionable these days to have various disorders. Can’t sleep? It’s called a Sleep disorder; take a Xanax every day for the rest of your life. Can’t study for 12 hours straight? Take some ADD medicines. Feeling low because of working for 5 years without a break? Congratulations! You are now officially clinically depressed, and have the opportunity to take medicine which will eventually cost you millions. Even the recreational drugs taken for escaping from daily routines, are cantered on ‘performance enhancement’. Whereas, previously, one took drugs to ‘zone out’ from the wind and grind of daily life, now you take them to delve deeper into it, to give you that ‘edge’ in the workplace or school/university. While cocaine is prescribed as a Class A drug, ‘Ritalin’ and ‘Adder all’ are prescribed by doctors and easily available over the counter. They are crystal meth in a pill. It is an irony that once heroin was prescribed to patients in the same way, only now they are being prescribed ‘happy pills’. Put heroin in a pill, synthetically vastly increase its potency, price it for the upper class, and voila, you have yourself a ‘pain killer’. The opioid epidemic in America is now one of the leading causes of death and addiction. Doctors, even your local ones, of course get a sizable cut put of each medicine sold recommended by them. What a perfect system! Most rehabilitation clinics keep their ‘inmates’ in inhuman conditions. They are bound up in ropes, with armed guards at the doors. Others keep them enclosed in one room for months, charging upward of a million a month from hapless parents. Of course, keeping a human being inside a room for months or in some cases years is sure to cure depression or whatever addiction they are suffering from. Some doctors with no certified degree whatsoever, of course makes similar amounts of money by keeping people locked up and fleecing their parents. And some experts keep patients ‘in line’ by beating them up and bounding them up in ropes like a James bond interrogation. The advertising though, is something commendable. The marketing strategy is very well thought out. The websites slick, with catchy taglines and uncertified therapists advising parents that their child has a ‘serious problem’ by using all sorts of complicated jargon. The jargon doesn’t really mean anything, but, at least the parents are impressed. The next time you’re child shouts, refuses to study or is out late, talk to him or her. If you are having trouble sleeping, improve your diet. If you are feeling low, take a stroll outside. You are already spending huge amounts on useless things, no need to add useless anxiety, medicines and ‘doctors’ to your budget and peace of mind. It’s important as parents, to raise your children in a safe but non suffocating environment. From Films to the news, cartoons to the video games, they are already getting to see every day the amount of violence and negativity previously one only saw in an entire lifetime. Today, the world is all about money and ‘getting ahead’. While ‘Positive Competiveness’ is beneficial both for the child and society, ‘Negative Competiveness’ has serious consequences. You yourself may feel over rawed by the wealth of information. Don’t worry, just take some time off from the TV or mobile, and enjoy life. You’ll feel much better. Take some time to pursue the dreams you once had as a child. Paint, sing, dance, write, act in your first play, cook you’re favourite dish or do your very own version of yoga. Read an old book, watch the beautiful trees, still waters or subtle wind. You will realise there is so much more to life than getting to the top. It’s always lonely up there. The writer is a director/actor, and a core member of Ajoka Theatre Pakistan. He has been involved in spreading awareness on socio-political issues through theatre Published in Daily Times, June 5th 2018.