Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Drug Overdose Deaths Still Rising

Preliminary data for 2017, from the CDC, shows about 72,000 deaths from drug overdoses nationwide, up more than 6 percent from the year before. As you can see from the graph above, synthetic opioids (mainly Fentanyl) are the main culprit. What struck me about this graph was the big rise in deaths from cocaine and methamphetamine ("psychostimulants"). I thought that was old news, but according to this graph more than 20,000 Americans died from those drugs last year.

We have so many ways to poison ourselves.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

"We have so many ways to poison ourselves."

And so many ways to profit off people poisoning themselves...
And so many reasons to give people to want to poison themselves...

It's almost as if our society makes people miserable, and we don't do enough to help people stop being miserable / protect them from ever becoming miserable in the first place, and so they turn to self medication, which is dangerous.

At the very least we could help them find safer ways to cope with their misery. If people are going to be miserable no matter what we do, and are going turn to drugs to combat that misery, the least we could do is help them do those drugs safely.

In places like Amsterdam, lots of people do hard drugs and visit brothels, but virtually none of them suffer overdoses or contract STDs. We know that it's perfectly possible to create a system that allows people to partake of these "vices" in ways that are safe, and that places far less of a burden on society as a whole than would otherwise exist without legalization and regulation.

Prohibition clearly doesn't work; hasn't ever worked; isn't going to magically start working all of out a sudden out of the blue. And yet we persist in burying our heads in the sand, and refusing to take the steps necessary to get rid of the harmful effects of what seems to be an inevitable human behavior that resists all attempts to exterminate it.

And so the cycle continues, people keep dying or having their lives destroyed, nothing changes, and senseless avoidable destruction persists unabated.