October 30, 2017

Why are opioids a Crisis Now?

Timothy Birdnow

The American media is a degenerate, corrupt, vile institution and one cannot accept their word for it if they claim it is a sunny day outside. Everything the media does has an ulterior motive. So I am skeptical of the claims that we are in an opiod epidemic, as they so hysterically claim.

Oh, I dons't doubt that use of heroine and perhaps even prescription painkillers has risen. Why wouldn't it, when the Obama Administration has been all about restoring the '60's drug culture. Obama was a pothead and a coke snorter, and he had no problem with illegal drug use. It should be pointed out that while we see this rise in opioid use we have seen the legalization of marijuana in many states. Is that a coincidence? I rather doubt it.
Another point to ponder; the principle cash crop in Afghanistan is poppy, the plant that yields opium, which yields heroine. Our invasion of Afghanistan kicked the Taliban out of power, but mr. Obama engaged in militarus interruptus and withdrew our forces early. So Afghanistan has a lot of opioid to get rid of and where was that going to go? I have little doubt that a good deal of the herroine coming into the U.S. is a result of the failure of the Afghan war. Probably ISIS as well.

It should be pointed out that the use of illicit drugs has metastasized in general, and it is not limited to opioids. Why? Clearly there is a more permissive attitude in America these days, and that likely came from eight years of liberal dominance in the political sphere.

Reason argues that opioid use has dropped in the U.S. even though opioid deaths have increased. According to the article:

"A flurry of legislative activity like this usually materializes when the drug problem it targets is already receding. That seems to be the case with the so-called opioid epidemic, notwithstanding the fresh attention attracted by the recent death of Prince, which may have involved prescription painkillers.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nonmedical use of opioid analgesics such as oxycodone and hydrocodone peaked in 2012 and has since dropped below the rate in 2002. Although the recent decline in prescription painkiller use was accompanied by an increase in heroin use, total opioid use was still lower in 2014 than in 2012.

Despite the decline in use, opioid-related deaths reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to rise through 2014, when there were 29,467, a record number. An overwhelming majority of such deaths—more than nine out of 10, according to data from New York City—involve mixtures of opioids with other drugs rather than straightforward overdoses."

end excerpt.

Read the NSDUH report here.

According to a National Institute of Health report from 2015:

"In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug.
Graph of past-month illicit drug use in 2013. Numbers in Millions. Illicit drugs 24.6, marijuana 19.8, Prescription drugs 6.5, cocaine 1.5, hallucinogens 1.3, inhalants 0.5, heroin 0.3

Marijuana use has increased since 2007. In 2013, there were 19.8 million current users—about 7.5 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.5 million (5.8 percent) in 2007.

Use of most drugs other than marijuana has stabilized over the past decade or has declined. In 2013, 6.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 2.5 percent) had used prescription drugs nonmedically in the past month. Prescription drugs include pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. And 1.3 million Americans (0.5 percent) had used hallucinogens (a category that includes ecstasy and LSD) in the past month.

Cocaine use has gone down in the last few years. In 2013, the number of current users aged 12 or older was 1.5 million. This number is lower than in 2002 to 2007 (ranging from 2.0 million to 2.4 million).

Methamphetamine use was higher in 2013, with 595,000 current users, compared with 353,000 users in 2010."

[...]

"

Revised June 2015
About the Survey

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a major source of information on substance use, abuse, and dependence among Americans 12 years and older. Survey respondents report whether they have used specific substances ever in their lives (lifetime), over the past year, and over the past month (also referred to as "current use"). Most analyses focus on past-month use.

The following are facts and statistics on substance use in the United States in 2013, the most recent year for NSDUH survey results. Approximately 67,800 people responded to the survey in 2013.
A map of the United States
Illicit Drug Use*

Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug.
Graph of past-month illicit drug use in 2013. Numbers in Millions. Illicit drugs 24.6, marijuana 19.8, Prescription drugs 6.5, cocaine 1.5, hallucinogens 1.3, inhalants 0.5, heroin 0.3

Marijuana use has increased since 2007. In 2013, there were 19.8 million current users—about 7.5 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.5 million (5.8 percent) in 2007.

Use of most drugs other than marijuana has stabilized over the past decade or has declined. In 2013, 6.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 2.5 percent) had used prescription drugs nonmedically in the past month. Prescription drugs include pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. And 1.3 million Americans (0.5 percent) had used hallucinogens (a category that includes ecstasy and LSD) in the past month.

Cocaine use has gone down in the last few years. In 2013, the number of current users aged 12 or older was 1.5 million. This number is lower than in 2002 to 2007 (ranging from 2.0 million to 2.4 million).

Methamphetamine use was higher in 2013, with 595,000 current users, compared with 353,000 users in 2010.
Graph of past-month use of selected illicit drugs. From 2002 to 2013, trends for hallucinogens, cocaine, and prescription drugs have steadied or declined. Marijuana trend has increased.

Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 2.8 million new users of illicit drugs in 2013, or about 7,800 new users per day. Over half (54.1 percent) were under 18 years of age.

More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana. Next most common are prescription pain relievers, followed by inhalants (which is most common among younger teens)."

[...]



Revised June 2015
About the Survey

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a major source of information on substance use, abuse, and dependence among Americans 12 years and older. Survey respondents report whether they have used specific substances ever in their lives (lifetime), over the past year, and over the past month (also referred to as "current use"). Most analyses focus on past-month use.

The following are facts and statistics on substance use in the United States in 2013, the most recent year for NSDUH survey results. Approximately 67,800 people responded to the survey in 2013.
A map of the United States
Illicit Drug Use*

Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. The increase mostly reflects a recent rise in use of marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug.
Graph of past-month illicit drug use in 2013. Numbers in Millions. Illicit drugs 24.6, marijuana 19.8, Prescription drugs 6.5, cocaine 1.5, hallucinogens 1.3, inhalants 0.5, heroin 0.3

Marijuana use has increased since 2007. In 2013, there were 19.8 million current users—about 7.5 percent of people aged 12 or older—up from 14.5 million (5.8 percent) in 2007.

Use of most drugs other than marijuana has stabilized over the past decade or has declined. In 2013, 6.5 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 2.5 percent) had used prescription drugs nonmedically in the past month. Prescription drugs include pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. And 1.3 million Americans (0.5 percent) had used hallucinogens (a category that includes ecstasy and LSD) in the past month.

Cocaine use has gone down in the last few years. In 2013, the number of current users aged 12 or older was 1.5 million. This number is lower than in 2002 to 2007 (ranging from 2.0 million to 2.4 million).

Methamphetamine use was higher in 2013, with 595,000 current users, compared with 353,000 users in 2010.
Graph of past-month use of selected illicit drugs. From 2002 to 2013, trends for hallucinogens, cocaine, and prescription drugs have steadied or declined. Marijuana trend has increased.

Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 2.8 million new users of illicit drugs in 2013, or about 7,800 new users per day. Over half (54.1 percent) were under 18 years of age.

More than half of new illicit drug users begin with marijuana. Next most common are prescription pain relievers, followed by inhalants (which is most common among younger teens).
Pie chart of first specific drug associated with initiation of drug use in 2013. Of 2.8 million initiate users. Marijuana 70.3%, pain relievers 12.5%, inhalants 6.3%, tranquilizers 5.2%, stimulants 2.7% hallucinogens 2.6% sedatives 0.2%, cocaine 0.1%

Drug use is highest among people in their late teens and twenties. In 2013, 22.6 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported using an illicit drug in the past month.
Graph of past-month illicit drug use by age in 2012 and 2013. Eighteen to 20 year-olds 23.9% in 2012 and 22.6% in 2013. Twenty-one to 25 year-olds 19.7% in 2012 and 20.9% in 2013.

Drug use is increasing among people in their fifties and early sixties. This increase is, in part, due to the aging of the baby boomers, whose rates of illicit drug use have historically been higher than those of previous generations."

End excerpts.

Sooo....

The legalization marijuana is the gateway to the other drugs - especially the opioids. And the baby boom generation, always quick to use drugs in their misspent youths, are now suffering the pains of old age and do not want to suffer in silence.

The Reason article also points out:

"According to NSDUH, only a quarter of people who take opioids for nonmedical reasons get them by obtaining a doctor's prescription. Hence the sequence that many people imagine—a patient takes narcotics for pain, gets hooked, and eventually dies of an overdose—is far from typical of opioid-related deaths.

The rarity of addiction to opioids should come as no surprise to the vast majority of Americans who have taken Vicodin or Percocet for pain. Maybe they enjoyed the buzz, but they did not continue taking opioids every day once their pain was gone."

End excerpt.

So, is this some sort of a national emergency? Hard cases make bad laaw. We should remember that.

Barack Obama, when stumping for his health insurance grab, said we should put elderly people on painkillers rather than "waste" money on more permanent solutions (such as surgery). In fact, this led many to speak about "death panels" where people are allowed to die rather than receive medical treatment. So, Obama advocated for opioid use!

I have another question; is this campaign against opioids a way to make people suffer? The media, academia, and the Democrats are all on board with this; are they doing it out of genuine concern for the public or is there an ulterior motive? I wonder if they aren't doing this to force the aging baby boomers into a position where they can't get painkillers they need and so wind up supporting single payer healthcare under the illusory promise that they will be able to get relief from their suffering. We know the more Progressive members of the liberal establishment think this way. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

Another point to ponder; this epidemic coincides with the fundamental transformation of the American healthcare system via Obamacare. Where once it was possible to get treatments for pain or reasonable access to pain killers now patients find themselves cut off or restricted. What happens? They turn to black market painkillers or move to illicit drugs. They STILL need relief, after all, and if their new insurance won't cover it then they are going to have to find some alternative. It won't be acupuncture.

Any way you look at it this is strange as the Left opposed the war on drugs before they supported it (now). This is more than just responding to a crisis. And why are we talking about this NoOW when this crisis has been brewing for twenty years? I am fairly convinced it is the election of Trump and his pledge to end Obamacare that is at the root of all of this.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:02 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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