Many deaths result from the proliferation of fentanyl-laced drugs. We must change course.

Efforts to End the Opioid Crisis are Backfiring

Federal & state authorities have unsuccessfully focused on the supply side of the problem, targeting prescription-drug producers and providers.


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Daryl D'Angelo · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Holy smokes, but there’s a lot of ignorance present here in this thread.

Nobody — literally nobody — “chooses” to become an addict. It’s sheer screaming idiocy to suggest such a thing. And once addiction is present, this is absolutely a health issue. It’s a disease of the brain.

It’s most damaging brain effects are in the pre-frontal cortex — the part of your brain that makes rational decisions and choices. In brain scans of active (or even newly recovering) addicts, the pre-frontal cortex is not active AT ALL. Nada. Zilch.

So that means they are not making choices. Not at all. They cannot. The word “choice” has absolutely no meaning in this context.

The good news is that the brain can heal! Takes roughly 6 months to a year. And that, right there, is the whole freaking POINT of efforts to save, to intervene, to persevere.

Because humans — feeling people with souls — don’t simply dismiss a life because of a brain disease. And those of you who think they should be left to die? Clearly you don’t get out much… because this is devastating families all across the country. If you’re one of the lucky ones, count your blessings. And then check your empathy.

Em Granosky · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Although opioid pain medication is routinely blamed by politicians, federal agencies and the media for the nation’s so-called opioid epidemic, recent studies in several states have found that most drug overdoses are actually caused by illegal opioids such as heroin and bootleg fentanyl. There are also increasing signs that pain patients unable to get opioids legally are turning to pain medication sold on the streets, some of it counterfeit and laced with fentanyl.

Rob Gerrard · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

End the unconstitutional failed war on drugs contributing to all of this. You never have that article, ya hacks

Karl Beilstein · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Stop the constant and continual search for entertainment that begins in childhood. Start making a system of incentives and rewards for hard work and achievement!!!

Patrick Neid · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

The circle jerk continues. Blah, blah, blah. Sooner or later, apparently later as we are in this madness going on 70 years, we will come to accept the fact that 10% of us prefer being strung out on “something”. I picked the 10% number—studies have indicated lower but rounding up is always safer.

Once we accept our human condition we will approach the reality differently and with better success. End the drug war and legalize everything, yes everything. Empty the prisons and turn them into rehab centers and housing units. Let the people who want to get strung out, get strung out but there is no reason to create a criminal cartel along with it.

For you do-gooders, no worries. There’s no money in my approach so your family member getting high just needs to keep a sharp eye. Don’t want to have a felon in the family tree.

Albert Polder · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Why is it when a woman wants to murder her child in the womb its accepted because its her body so its her choice but if a person feels like getting a little buzz than that its your body so its your choice it doesn’t apply,not advocating doing dangerous drugs(although I think cannabis the least of evil with all drugs including alcohol).So obviously our body our choice does not always apply,just doesn’t sound fair.Legalize cannabis and I’d bethalf of the drug overdoses would stop.

Albert Polder · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Build the wall and half of the heroin and fentanoyl won’t wouldn’t even make it to our citizens veins,maybe over half.Plus we can keep the illegals out.

Carl Houghton · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

This piece is misguided. Most of the increase in illicit drug use has been fueled by prescription of opioids. The declining rate of prescribing doesn’t change the fact that people remain addicted. They got addicted by prescriptions, either for themselves or someone else. The solution is to stop making new addicts, and to provide more addiction treatment for those already hurting because of the failed prescription narcotic boom of the 1990s-2000s. The argument that people are better off taking prescription narcotics than street drugs is dubious. Prescription narcotics have the aura of safety because they come from someone wearing a white coat in a clinic, but it’s an illusion. Thousands of people are dying from prescription narcotics, without any help from street drugs. Your brain doesn’t distinguish between heroin and an equivalent dose of oxycodone. They both kill people every day. That’s my experience as a physician.

Zach Haney · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

This is a healthcare disaster caused by murderous drug dealers we call “pharmaceutical companies.” They should be punished. #MedicareForAll is the only chance we have to take on these powerful corporate interests that have ravaged our country.

William Burton Jr · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

It is the worst thing you can do is take drugs off the market without having a way to reduce people off them. It is a doctors job to do that not a law maker. If they step people off of it you have no problems. I was on them for 10 years I wanted to quit them and the doctors step me down over 3 to 6 month period and I not taking any since it has been 2 years. I know it works. I was on them because of 4 back surgeries.

Tony Castro Jr. · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

This epidemic is an issue of the heart. Living a life separated from God is hopeless and only leads to misery and death.

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9-13 (ESV)

Robert Weeks · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Obviously opiod dealers must believe that the reward of dealing opiods is worth the risk of conviction and subsequent sentence likely to be received.

How about turning this around with additional resources to enforce existing laws and stiffer sentences upon conviction.

Maybe at some point this is turned around when they decide the reward is not worth the risk.

Personally I believe the sentence for dealing opiods should be no less than the sentence for second degree murder.

Bernie Reis · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

These people want to do drugs and kill themselves, knowing what we know, go for it. This is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars a year and then States like Colorado, Calimexico, Washington, Oregon promote marijuana all for the tax money. This is nuts!

Dawn Cuadras · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

That’s why parent’s and educator’s tell their kids to say no to drug’s.. If you don’t start you won’t be addicted. Thus the Just Say No campaign.. And Daryl that is a choice… Just like anything in life, their are consequences for the choices we make.

Terri McHale · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

That is because all they have done is make things harder for the patients that need the medication. Drug laws, like gun laws do not criminals

Will Buckingham · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

When we had the crack epidemic in the 80’s we just cranked up punishments and threw everyone in jail. That worked out pretty well, let’s just do that.

Rita Albarano · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

The narcon mess is worse. The same people, over and over. Three strikes and they’re out. Costing a fortune to revive these addicts.

Ashley Rebecca Whittington · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

To all of you who expressed your opinions about the uselessness and criminality of addicts, to those who wish death and life sentences on addicts, to those who have all the answers in black and white and have clear, decisive proof that it’s just a matter of pulling oneself up by nonexistent bootstraps: It saddens me and I hate to say these next words but it must be said. You think it’s clear now and it’s black and white, cut and dry because you have good sense and they don’t–it’s coming for you. Oh, to be sure, it probably won’t affect you as a person who is addicted but it will impact you on a personal level. It’s coming for your children and grandchildren, your partners and people you’ve respected your whole life. I can guarantee with an almost eerie certainty that at some point you will be at a place where you are face to face with this “moral failure.” And it will change the way you think or you will die a bitter, narrow-minded soul. It’s a plague of literal epidemic proportions and you will watch loved ones suffer and die. It’s gonna hurt like hell. I’m sorry for your future pain and bewilderment. The sad reality is that addiction doesn’t discriminate. That’s all.

Maggie Thomas · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

It’s not the doctors or the drug dealers it iss on the back of the one taking the drugs. let’s help them and htie rfamilies to cope and stop this .

Doug Burke · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

If you really want to save lives make it safe for people to use they’re going to do it no matter what human beings cannot force other human beings to behave in any manner

Tim Coyle · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Well in states that have legalized marijuana opioid deaths are down 25% across the board. Something to think about

Amber Haden · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

We should not waste money on people’s stupid CHOICES! It is their own actions, they get the consequences. It’s not a healthcare problem, it’s not a corporate problem. They make their own problems and eventually it sorts itself out. We should not be wasting money on the waste of the human race.

Adam Peacock · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

No matter the money you spend or the program you create, you will never be able to save people from their own bad personal choices. Period.

Lisa Benbow · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Read CHASING THE SCREAM. J. HARRI..Best book ever on subject
9 out of 10 addicts are Abandoned Abused Molested Traumatized children growing up self medicating…Legalize Drugs Yesterday. Clinicalize it stop Glorifying thug life with PROHIBITION breeds crime and criminals..
For addicts. More Amino Acids and high protein will help..

Robinlance Mcmaster · October 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

I truly understand that there is a problem here. But, why is it anybody else’s business about what someone does with their body? We allow men to become women. Women to become men. And children to be abused by putting them on meds because they are trapped in the wrong body! If people are stupid enough to take that chance, then that’s their right, it’s their body. Help cannot be given unless the person genuinely wants it. It is a waste of money, time to force people to comply. If you think that taking opioids out if the picture is going to stop the dying, you are wrong. People will find a way and there will be more deaths. I am a pot smokers, thank goodness. I have a disease that causes exscruating pain 24-7. Now I can’t get the meds I need. One more thing, if you think it’s going to stop here, you’re crazy. Everyday there is something different we can’t do or say. New world order. Coming to your door! Wake up America!

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