While reading the Oct.30 issue of the New Yorker magazine I came upon an interesting article concerning the opiate crisis in America. The title of the article was the Empire of Pain and it had to do with the way OxyContin was both produced and marketed in the USA. I read some of the article to my wife and I had to stop because she began to cry and that's when I knew just how serious the problem of OxyContin had become. It seems that her sister was also hooked on one of these drugs which had been prescribed for back pain. To make matters worse I reached for another magazine called the Light House Point November issue and found another story on the opiate crises in America.
Call it chance or divine intervention but in two hours I had read as much as I had ever read about this crisis. The New Yorker article put the blame squarely on the makers of OxyContin for releasing this monster upon a nation of people seeking relief from physical pain and having a rather naïve trust in their doctors. Here are some of the statistics. In the USA 142 people die every day from drug overdose. Most of these are from opioids. There were 64,000 fatal overdoses in 2016 which is 540 percent more than in the last three years. Broward County Florida is likely to have 1000 deaths this year from people overdosing on opiates and heroin. But the most disturbing fact is that over 300,000 have died from this plaque in the last ten years just here in America. All the terrorist attacks in America together don't come close to this figure.
The irony of this is that three days ago a mad man ran over dozens of people and killed eight or nine with a truck while they were cycling in New York. Within hours the politicians were calling for a stricter ban on immigration from certain countries and harsher sentences for the terrorist who commit these types of crimes. What they do not want to acknowledge is that the monster is right here, eating and meeting with them and getting away with it. These are the monsters that produce the opiates which have bought the nation to this crisis. The monster has money, lots of it; he can hire the best attorneys and if bought to court has the money to buy his way out.
When you look at a mad man killing 50 or more like in the Las Vegas massacre or the 9/11 event or the dozens of mass killing on the streets and schools of America you see a tragedy which has no meaning. But when you read that 300,000 have died in the last ten years from drug overdoses and that most of these could have been prevented if the congress and senate had passed laws to protect the people from monsters who produce opiates you have to wonder who the terrorist are.
This is not a state secret because the material is out there on who manufactures the opiates that are killing the people. But when even someone like the ex-governor of New York City can be hired by some of these same people you know they have to be well connected and have really deep pockets. Where is the compassion for all of the hundreds of thousands that have died from a pill or a needle and not from a gun, a bomb or a truck? They don't have a voice because no one can make a political statement out of their death. It is much easier to blame Isis or some other deranged group then to blame the company which has just given you half a mil for your campaign.
Beside this most people think that this can never happen to them. But this is not so because governors as well as judges and policeman have had loved ones die from this tragedy. Some of these are hard core street junkies but the majority are either students or white and blue collar workers who have gone to a doctor for some pain relief.
The blood of these who have died trusting in doctors and in medicine will be on the hands of the politicians and law makers just as it is on the hands of those who produce the opiates knowing that they are highly addictive. This is a two or three hundred billion dollar business which is not controlled by drug cartels or street gangs but buy super rich corporate heads and their buddies the politicians. So sad that so many young people have to die so a few can live in mansions and indulge in what is called the finer things of life, what a waste.
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