A nation of addicts

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Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

The United States has an addiction problem, but we are far from number one in the world with drug problems. According to the most recent statistics, we are number eight. Iran is number one with approximately 14 million addicted to drugs. However the percentage of the American population on prescription pills is increasing day by day and has increased up to almost 50% in recent years.

Meth is the illegal drug of choice because it is the easiest to access. Fentanyl is a johnny-come-lately compared to heroin and cocaine. Fentanyl is not an illegal drug. It is widely prescribed as a pain killer for cancer and other types of illness. A prescription is required.

We manufacture opioids like candy because of demand. Most drug addictions have their beginnings in the family medicine cabinets. Doctors over-prescribe painkillers which makes them more available in the home.

You might expect the largest states to have the highest death rates. Not true. In numbers, they have the most deaths from overdoses but not by ranking per population. That goes to West Virginia with 81.4. The most recent number annually was 1,330. California’s ranking was 21, having a total of 8,908. West Virginia has become the poorest and least progressive state, while California is the wealthiest and most progressive. Why is this? The least progressive and poorest states have less to look forward to and are the most likely to sink into despair.

But let’s be realistic folks. Drug sales, legal or illegal, are part of the economy. Pharma keeps belting opiates out in the assembly line rapidly. Why, then, are drugs imported and do they all come from south of the border? To answer the first part of the question, it is simple economics. There would be no imports if there was not a demand. Supply and demand. As simple as that. We are an addicted nation.

While our politicians scream bloody murder about the importation of opiates from Mexico, there isn’t a port in the company that doesn’t have more access than the south simply because we do not have the means to stop drugs from coming in. So what are we doing to suppress the desire for drugs? Why do we talk but not show what drugs do to us? One video of some young boy or girl dying in the hospital or being found dead or dying will better teach the dangers of overdosing than all the talk in the world. Seeing is more likely believing. Drug addiction should be a required course from kindergarten through high school, just as history and science are taught.

So, the only way to stop the production of drugs and the ultimate overdose and death is to stop the demand. Duh! Just sayin’.


• DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various author’s articles on this Opinion piece or elsewhere online or in the newspaper where we have articles with the header “COLUMN/EDITORIAL & OPINION” do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints or official policies of the Publisher, Editor, Reporters or anybody else in the Staff of the Hemet and San Jacinto Chronicle Newspaper.

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