Opioid Epidemic

He’s basically just cutting Medicaid, which is the exact opposite of doing something about this issue, unless you consider making it worse to be doing something about it.

Medicaid is the biggest payer in the fight against opioids. In his campaign, he said, “We will give people struggling with addiction access to the help they need.” So, he’s clearly not going to do that because he’s cutting Medicaid. Moreover, it’s clear bringing jobs back and putting America first is the “help” that he’s referring to. Additionally, he’s enlisted Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions in taking a crime-and-punishment approach. Since addicts don’t stop when they’re told to stop or even when they’re punished severely, ya know, cuz it’s a fucking addiction and, at that point, no longer a choice, this approach is not going to work either! Being treated at the emergency already costs thousands of dollars, and being admitted overnight costs more than $20,000 in some cases. That would seem to be punishment enough, and that’s not curbing the addiction. Obviously.

So it’s pretty obvious what this means, but he’s only not going to stop the issue, he also can’t anyway because the more pressing issue is the synthetic opioid epidemic and he hasn’t tied this issue to anything else that he’d like to work on with China, like international trade.

For what it’s worth, here’s what I think he should do: He loves to talk about how trade is going to fix everything, getting better deals and so on. Given his focus on “deals,” he could tie bilateral trade deals to a reduction of Chinese synthetic opioids entering the United States. He could keep it vague and let China figure out how to stop it and, therefore, wouldn’t have to call them out on their mass production of opioids, but he’s not doing anything.

However, he’s not even mentioned one trade policy that includes China getting a more preferable trade deal if they clean up the opioid problem.

I think we’ll make some progress on curbing addiction to prescription opioids, but I don’t think we’re going to really make any progress on the synthetic front because China keeps coming up with new ways and staying one step ahead of us.

So what can WE do?

12 comments

  1. Thanks for shedding an incisive light on this. We need to remove the stigma of “the junkie” and start viewing sufferers as not so different from ourselves.

    1. Jessica, you’re right. They’re just like us. While one person is more susceptible to addiction, someone else is more likely to contract something that an addict would not.

      If we see the potential for ourselves to become victims, then we won’t want to marginalize, discredit, or look down upon someone who is suffering already.

      I’m glad to have you here. If you have any additional information about the opioid crisis, I’d be happy to hear from you.

    2. To me it’s just like homelessness or any social issue. There but for the grace of the Force go I.

    3. Exactly, and this is definitely a social issue, a national crisis. The White House wants to treat it like a crime and go after the addicts.

      They need to treat the wounded AND go after the criminals, but the victims aren’t the criminals.

      They should go after the opioid production companies in China that operate online pharmacies and load these drugs onto megaton container ships.

    4. Imprison more. Teach less. Increase Federal Civil Forfeiture. Beat down the poor, old, most at risk, helpless. Take away our social safety nets. Leave people uninsured. Loyalty. Restrict the First Amendment. Attack the free . Turn the people into a subclass below the super wealthy who run the country. Blind nationalism. It’s almost as if someone was trying to make the US more like an autocracy, like Russia or something.

    5. They believe they have all the answers, some incontrovertible plan that will fix everything, just so long as we fall in line or get out of the way.

      They can try to force us, but regardless of their methodology, their solutions are wrong, out of date, and out of touch, and I hope they learn that before more people get hurt.

  2. Working on the front lines of this exact problem, I think this was well written, informative, and kept the politics out of it for the most part. Very well researched and constructed.

    I don’t agree with you politically in some areas, but I think one of the best ways to combat this particular epidemic is people like you educating others in just this way. Very good job!

    1. Thank you so much for the work that you do. Since you have personal experience, please share what an individual can do on their own to stop this epidemic. Anything little they can do.

      I’m glad you’re here. At times, we’ll disagree, but it makes me just as excited to hear a dissenting opinion than my own opinion repeated back to me. That’s how we can actually get somewhere!

      If you have any additional information on the opioid epidemic, I’d love to hear from you.

    2. Individuals who ARE addicted can absolutely ask for help. I know it may seem (from the outside) that it is shameful. But healthcare workers deal with it all the time. I’d much rather hear a patient say “I think I’m addicted, can you help me out?” Than have to dodge around their vomit in the trauma room while they aspirate and die. Besides nurses are absolutely cool with questions like this, and have tons of resources to give you for free. Same with pharmacists. Will we talk about you after you’re gone? Yeah. But we’ll say things like “Hats off for that kid. He’s doing the right thing.”

      Individuals who KNOW someone who is addicted, use these resources:

      Crisis Call Center
      800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
      Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
      http://crisiscallcenter.org/crisis-services

      The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center
      800-784-6776
      Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
      http://www.addictioncareoptions.com

      National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism
      800-662-HELP (4357)
      Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
      http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

      Let them know they’re in good hands and you want to be someone they can go to. Give them the numbers.

      Healthcare providers can help by asking the hard questions about drug therapies and how the patient takes them. Addiction is such a taboo, which is laughable, because everyone has them.

      I’ve personally seen 60 lbs of necrotic tissue carved off an ugly person’s naked backside and crotch. Complete with maggots.

      Someone asking for help for an addiction is a breath of fresh air. Literally in some cases.

      Walk into anyplace with a nurse…and just give it to them straight. It might be an awkward three minutes, but after that they’ll help you! Besides, it isn’t nearly as awkward as “fidget spinner stuck on penis” written on the ER admission board.

    3. Thank you for providing this valuable information.

      Anyone reading this should know that we all have addictions, and that’s okay. Might even be a part of being human. What’s not okay is the stigma that having an addiction makes you somehow inferior. That’s not true. We used to say a physical impairment meant you were also somehow dumber than others, and that’s now widely considered ridiculous.

      However, mental illness and addiction both seem to imply that you’re not as valuable. As a society, we need to be more mature than that.

      You’re definitely just as valuable and definitely worth saving. No matter what.

      So text or call one of the numbers above if you need help or know someone who does. It doesn’t have to be a perfect message either. “Help” will do just fine.

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