Opioid Epidemic

Every one’s excited about the “epidemic.” Recently I posed the question, “who cares?” As it turns out not very many people.

Let’s look first at the epidemic. Using CDC data we can see the rise in deaths from opiates:

opiate deaths

Wow, it seems that no one thought this was a problem until WHITE PEOPLE started dying. People of color either no how to use recreational drugs or simply don’t. The epidemic is a problem because it’s affecting the white middle class. Gosh, no we gotta do something. The death from opiates is widely expected to top 55,000 for 2016. That’s the equivalent of SIX people every hour, every day. What did the Federal government do? The CDC issued “guidelines” for prescribing. Many states have issued similar guidance- but it’s mostly voluntary. Prosecutions are rare and the penalties vary widely. State medical boards routinely fail to take meaningful actions.

The bottom line- doctors continue to be treated “special.”  They’re subjected to some additional scrutiny and “guidance” now that their actions have begun killing white people but they’re largely immune to discipline.

 

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