Today we’re witnessing an unprecedented epidemic going rampant across the United States, and in spite of what Judge Robert Mueller and his Russophobe friends may tell you, it has nothing to do with Russia.
An ever increasing number of Americans are getting addicted to opioid drugs and officials have so far failed to somehow address this situation. According to official reports, more than 150 people die from drug overdose on the daily basis, which is means that drugs claim more lives each year than gun-related violence and road accidents. As for those who are behind this 21st curse that is plaguing America, one can find all sorts of practitioners and Big Pharma companies that believe that believe it’s okay to go around handing prescriptions for powerful painkillers to pretty much anyone, which exposes law-abiding citizens to drugs, making them addicted.
The estimated economic losses that the United States suffered in 2015 alone due to the extensive use of opioids, according to the Council of Economic Advisors, reached 504 billion dollars. The long list of problems associated with their extensive use of opioids that are medical drugs that are structurally similar to morphine has already affected the lives of 2.4 million Americans.
A special commission that was summoned to assist Donald Trump in evaluating how grave the situation with drug use in the US has recently become came to a conclusion that the US healthcare system is at fault. According to the preliminary report that this commission drafted, every three weeks the US loses as many people as it lost in the course of the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, it was pointed out that strong painkillers are being prescribed to drug addicts for bribes or under the influence of various advertising campaigns about “effective and safe” drugs developed by the Big Pharma. Often those who are trying to get rid of their addiction are being screwed by insurance companies that may allow a person to spend thousands of dollars on painkillers, but would not cover a couple visits to an expert narcologist.
It’s clear that over the last two decades Americans haven’t started to experience more pain, yet the number of prescribed painkillers to them has quadrupled. In fact, they use well over 80% of all the legally manufactured opioids in the world.
Furthermore, almost half of young people who inject heroin claim they abused prescription opioids before turning to heroin, according to three separate studies cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
In Arizona alone the number of newborns suffering from drug withdrawal syndromes in just four years. This results in newborn babies coming into the world suffering from excruciating opioid withdrawal pains due to the rising rates of heroin and painkiller abuse nationwide. Among the short-term symptoms that those minors suffer include seizures, trouble feeding, excessive crying, diarrhea and rapid breathing. Yet, even the bitter suffering of their newborn kids and rising overdose death rates are not preventing Americans from using more prescription painkillers than ever before.
The Daily Caller would state that (emphasis added):
Arizona is not the only state experiencing rising rates of NAS related to opioids. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services revealed the rate of babies born exposed to opioids more than quadrupled over the past decade. In Missouri an increase of 538 percent since 2006. Ohio is also experiencing rising levels of NAS, which are especially high in the Cincinnati region. Officials at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report a 14-fold increase in the number of newborns suffering from heroin or other opioid related withdrawals since 2009 at hospitals in the Greater Cincinnati area.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2015 alone. That is an average of one death every ten minutes. Approximately nearly two-thirds of the fatal overdoses were from opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. Although the absolute death toll from opioids is greatest in big cities like Chicago and Baltimore, the devastation is most concentrated in rural areas. Among the victims one could find a lot of white middle-class men and women from suburbs and rural towns.
There’s no doubt that the opioid epidemic has its roots in the explosive growth of prescription painkillers. Between 1991 and 2011, the number of opioid prescriptions supplied by American retail pharmacies increased from 76 million to 219 million prescriptions. However, as the number of prescriptions kept growing, so was the potency of drugs Americans were taking. In 2002 one in six users took a pill more powerful than morphine, but this figure reached one in three users by 2012.
In early 2017, in an address to a joint session of Congress, the sitting US president vowed to end America’s “terrible drug epidemic”. By August, he was forced to admit that America is facing an unprecedented drug crisis. However, last October Trump reported no improvement of the catastrophic situation, while declaring a state of emergency in the US healthcare system.
By why Mr Trump’s pledge to end the scourge of opioid abuse in America hasn’t brought any visible results? That’s going to be the topic of yet another study of this author, as it is those who are profiting from this epidemics that are to be examined. And we are not talking about drug lords, but about respected members of society who sacrificed the health and lives of their fellow-citizens for a chance of obtaining super-profits.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”