Series 22 | Part 5: Targeted Solutions

Frankly, you can easily talk about each one separately by breaking the issue down into domestic policy and international policy.

Domestic Policy

To stop the prescription drug abuse and overdoses, there has been a lot of talk about defunding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Remember those surveys I talked about, where the patient says they’re satisfied? Well, the doctors get money if the patient is satisfied, and if you know anyone who is hooked on painkillers, the only way to be satisfied is to get a higher and higher dose. So, if the doctor actually cares but needs the money, then they’ll see that they won’t make money by ignoring symptoms of and/or susceptibility to addiction. They’ll cut off the patient’s supply like they’re supposed to.

We can also continue getting Narcan into every ambulance, every hospital, and apparently every library in America. Other antidotes that we’ll need are naloxone, suboxone, and subutex.

We can also establish drug courts where the only thing they do is focus on drug addiction and getting people into rehab. Despite the fact that Donald Trump doesn’t care, it’s clear that at least the city of Buffalo care because their judges sometimes see addicts every single day until they’re clean. They say their goal is “keeping them alive.”

Foreign Policy

Stopping synthetics is a much more complicated issue, and frankly, again, Trump may want to stop it, which is nice because he doesn’t seem to care about anything else, but he’s the least capable.

The antidotes mentioned above won’t work because, as soon as Hillary Clinton started talking about Narcan, China switched up their formula to make a Narcan-resistant form of opioids. So now Narcan isn’t a reliable method anymore for fentanyl or any other black market opioids because we’re not going to know in advance whether it’s going to work or not.

The only way we’re going to be able to stop the synthetic opioid epidemic is through foreign policy negotiations with the big players on either end of the supply chain: China, the producers, and Mexico, the last country before the synthetics hit our streets.

Sooooo……well, China hates us, and Mexico doesn’t necessarily hate the United States but certainly thinks Donald Trump is a steaming pile. They’re not wrong. Just saying they don’t him, and none of this makes me very confident that we’ll be able to curb this epidemic.

Frankly, the best ways are going to be through international cooperation. We’re going to have to work with Mexico to stop the drugs at the border by getting them to shift their more general focus on the drug cartels to a more specific focus on synthetic opioids as it relates to the cartels. We can also work with Canada on their partnership with China. We can be a third-party observer to this cooperation, allowing us to look at the data on what China is really doing. By staying out of the decision-making, we appear to be taking a backseat, which is what China wants, but we’ll actually be collecting evidence via open information sharing environment that we have with Canada, who will be receiving the information from China in order to participate in the partnership.

We should also look at every country along the supply chain. For example, in Africa, the small country of Benin destroys all fentanyl that crosses their borders. So they’re clearly our ally on this issue. They also already have a contract with China for infrastructure development that actually spans 300 YEARS. Since they’re already aligning with China economically but supporting the fight against opioids, there’s no danger in pushing them to do more or to speak out more publically against opioids because they’ve already decided not to work with us on anything else, opting for one of China’s get-rich-quick infrastructure projects instead.We should ask for international support from any other country that isn’t susceptible to such pressures from China. If they’re already intensely loyal to China, no problem, and if they’re intent on sticking with the foreign model of the United States, that’s even better, as long as they’re not positioned in a way that makes it easy for China to bully them when they continue to align with us.

We should ask for international support from any other country that isn’t susceptible to such pressures from China. We should seek partnerships with countries that are already intensely loyal to China such that we can’t lose more or intent on sticking with the United States but that aren’t easily targeted by China for doing so, then countries  positioned in a way that makes it easy for China to bully them when they continue to align with us.

However, the most important thing we can do is fight China directly. We can sanction China. We can fine China. We can block products from China that come on the same containerships as the smuggled opioids. We can even pressure the countries whose companies sell the products that were on those containerships into sanctioning China because they’ll obviously be hurt when we block them from entering the U.S. consumer markets. All of these methods seem right in line with Trump’s style regarding international trade policy, but he hasn’t done it.

So what is Trump doing about this?

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