Opioid Crisis Continues to Grow but No One Is Reporting This Fact or Doing Anything to End This Preventable Loss of Life

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Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension (Flickr CC0)

Ignoring the Important Issues

Between 2017 and January 2021, not a single important issue that faced our nation on Trump’s inauguration day, January 20, 2017, was addressed. Progress on the serious problems facing our nation were put on hold until President Biden was inaugurated. He hit the ground running on January 21, 2021, and continues to be a working president. Among these issues, which include universal healthcare, affordable education, fair taxation, voting rights, and sensible immigration reform is the opioid crisis.

All Lives Matter to the American People but not to Our Government

The statistics since 2019 are unforgivable and preventable. Doctors freely prescribed opioids for pain relief, like candy on Halloween, and were complicit with big pharma in “pushing” the sale of these highly addictive drugs, although they were aware of the danger. When their patients were unable to find a source for their addiction, they turned to heroin, which was cheaper and stronger.

In 2017 approximately 47,600 Americans lost their lives from an overdose of opioids and/or heroin. It has increased with every passing year.

More Unforgivable Statistics

Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during a 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.

The new data documents that estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before.

Think About These Facts

More than 40,000 Americans are murdered every year by a perpetrator using a handgun or rifle.

The total loss of life in the 20-year war in South Vietnam was about 58,000.

Nearly 80,000 Americans lose their lives related to opioids each year.

In less than two years, deaths from COVID-19 reached an unimaginable number of more than 1,000,000.

The Trump administration is partly responsible for the increase in death related to opioids and totally responsible for tens of thousands of lives lost during the height of the pandemic. Republicans in name only across the nation were complicit in the Trump administration’s failure. Right-wing politicians continue to prove they are unfit to govern America’s 331 million people.

Who Is to Blame?

Let’s offer the truth about responsibility for the opioid crisis. It begins with the pharmaceutical industry. They were fully aware that opioids were far more addictive than other prescription drugs, but continued to manufacture these killers, and urge physicians to prescribe them. Your family doctor must share some of the blame. As the problem with opioids was reported, family practitioners across the nation continued to write prescriptions for refills and new patients.

The problem not only persists, but it’s also growing. It’s time for the federal government to step up and do the job for which they were elected.

How Much Longer Are We Going to Allow Congress to Do Nothing?

Gun control should have been established three decades ago. Like the opioid crisis, the problem continues to grow as there are nearly twice as many mass shootings as days on the calendar. The opioid crisis is fairly recent in comparison and must not be allowed to continue for decades in the future.

We have the money to solve both issues, and they are simple. However, there is no interest in Washington to protect public safety. The profits of gun sellers, gun manufacturers, and the big pharmaceutical companies are a greater priority than you and those you love.

By The Wise Old Fart, (James Turnage)

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Sources:

Wikipedia: United States drug overdose death rates and totals over time

CDC: Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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