The nation’s opioid epidemic has left a trail of devastation across communities of every socio-economic stratum.
Drug overdoses and deaths are becoming as common as motor vehicle accidents and prohibition of the drugs has done little to solve the problem. The fact is these big pharmaceutical companies created these drugs, from heroin and cocaine to fentanyl and phentermine.
Recently, a more powerful opioid, Carfentanil, is being obtained from Chinese drug companies and being mixed into illegal supplies of heroin and like drugs. 19 people overdosed in Wayne County along last month. While dealers and users of this drugs come under the long arm of the law; drug companies and drug makers stand by collecting windfall profits as they feed off of the ill-effects drug use and abuse entails.
US drug policy compounded the problem by cracking down on doctors who maintained users’ addictions. This policy pushed users on to the street when their prescription ran dry. Dealing with the black market invariably leads people to unregulated products that lack any indication as to quality or potency – aside from the criminal and physical dangers attendant thereto. Here, users are at great risk as they have few friendly places they can seek refuge from their plight. Some say it is the users fault, but that misses the point. Powerful and dangerous drugs are given to people beginning at a very young age in America.
Opioids are routinely given to people to treat pain from injuries or surgeries in their youth. While alcohol and tobacco are not allowed for those with developing brains, opioids, and stimulants, such as Adderall, are regularly acceptable forms of medication for those same developing brains. Addiction is a creeping phenomenon that develops over time. Punishing users of products that are developed and distributed by major corporations with the blessing of the federal government is not a wise policy and seems to only make matters worse. Real corporate and government accountability, combine with an end to the Drug War would be steps in the right direction. However, these powerful interests seem bent on profit and maintaining the status quo.
However, these powerful interests seem bent on profit and maintaining the status quo.