Can We Finally Have an Honest Discussion about the Opioid Crisis?

The opioid epidemic is generating a lot of media coverage and hand-wringing, but few if any solutions, and this is predictable: if you don’t face up to the causes, then you can’t solve the problem. America is steadfastly avoiding looking at the causes of the opioid crisis, which is soberly reflected in these charts of soaring opioid-caused deaths:

If we are going to have an honest conversation about the opioid epidemic, then we need to recognize the real causes of the epidemic:

1. The Pharmaceutical industry falsely claimed synthetic opioids were non-addictive, and a complicit, toothless regulatory system did nothing, egged on by politicians who were bought off by mega-bucks campaign contributions from Big Pharma.

2. Our sickcare system is very good at over-prescribing painkillers as a substitute for treating the source of the pain, which is often complex. Our “healthcare” system, much of which consists of endless TV adverts promoting one costly medication after another, is basically a conduit from Big Pharma to poorly informed “consumers” (quaintly referred to as “patients” to mask the actual dynamic).

This system has trained “consumers” to expect a magic pill for every ailment or pain, and any doctor who refuses to over-prescribe is risking blowback from the “patients” and the rest of the system. Americans have been trained to avoid treatments that require effort and changing their lifestyle; they demand a magic pill that works right away, with no effort required.

3. The economy no longer generates secure, purposeful jobs for the working class, and so millions of people live in a state of insecure despair, a state devoid of purpose, meaning, and ways to contribute to their families and communities. People stripped of meaningful livelihoods are prone to finding escape in destructive addictive drugs and habits.

4. The counterproductive War on Drugs has effectively outlawed cannabis for decades, depriving the public of a pain-reducing natural product. While the law-enforcement status quo, exemplified by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, still makes factually false claims about the dangers of cannabis, the truth is that if cannabis were legal, affordable and easily available, tens of thousands of Americans would still be alive, because cannabis doesn’t kill people and you can’t overdose on it.

Go ahead and do your own research: I couldn’t find a single verified instance of a cannabis-caused death in the U.S. when I sought verifiable statistics on cannabis-caused deaths a few years ago.

So while law enforcement got helicopters and other toys to play with and the War on Drugs Gulags filled up with citizens who should never have been imprisoned, the War on Drugs has killed tens of thousands by outlawing a safe pain-killer and legalizing deadly, highly addictive pain-killers because those deadly, highly addictive pain-killers reaped Big Pharma billions of dollars in profits.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We have the means to generate meaningful work in our communities–I’ve laid out one system to accomplish this in my book A Radically Beneficial World.

We should legalize cannibis immediately at the federal level. While law-enforcement bureaucracies will mourn the slashing of their bloated War on Drugs budgets, the nation will finally put the destructive, failed, counter-productive War on Drugs in the ash heap of history.

You can’t just give people and communities a subsistance entitlement like Universal Basic Income (UBI) and expect them to thrive. If we look deeply into the opioid epidemic, we find a crisis of purposelessness fueled by a lack of meaningful work and ways to contribute and earn financial security by serving others in the community.

If we don’t face up to the essential role of meaningful work in human fulfillment and security, then we’ll never solve our addicition epidemic and all the related social ills.

I explore these issues in my new book Money and Work Unchained

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13 Responses to Can We Finally Have an Honest Discussion about the Opioid Crisis?

  1. Sparticus says:

    The Real problem is “a society that denigrates” the value of an individual to Slave. Drugs are only part of the problem, but the real reason people are addicted (psychologically) is that they want to escape reality. I worked with addicts and I know them well. The last thing you want is more DEA “BS” and prison industrial complex; and you sure as hell do not want to go to the dentist (have teeth extracted) and be given Tylenol for pain. Most Drug addiction is 80-percent psychological 20-percent physical. You are all addicted to coffee (caffeine is addictive and in the same drug class as nicotine) try skipping your AM Coffee. Addiction is Addiction. I had heroine addicts tell me it was easier to quit heroine than cigarettes!

    Solutions will only come when society learns to be Human and stops Abusing People! People take drugs to self-medicate and it works for them. This is why when you take it away they go nuts! Perhaps, drugs should be legal? What “genius” ( they cannot even cure the common cold) decided that they should be Illegal? How much is spent playing “mommy and daddy” therefore, let adults choose and stay out of the business of adults. Funny, in a nation that does not provide healthcare for its slaves ( they could care less if you die) however, they care about your drug use?

    You safely package and sell drugs and the nation prospers. No More Overdoses. No more Crime. No more Jails. And, the government can lower your taxes! Wake up and Smell the Coffee! There are treatment facilities to deal with any problems.

  2. slorter says:

    He tells it like it is!
    https://youtu.be/Dj8aheB9kEY

    • Sparticus says:

      Yes, good post. You can see how the professor points squarely to the Slave Trade ( Jobs have been exported for slave labor profit) and then people wonder why there are problems with substance abuse. America is the abuser of the poor. All they do is export Industry and Manufacturing, Engineering Jobs to Slave Labor for Professor. Now, they want to replace the poor with Robots. Here is the solution, Replace the Rich with Robots!

      Abused people self-destruct. The people have to learn to fight back. Put 1-million protesters on Wall Street and take back the ill gotten gain, Only then You will see change.

      Americans have a Constitution that mandates that they Fight and Protest. They even have Citizens “Arrest Rights” that allows for use of FORCE. Those who are so greedy, as not to be satisfied that they are RICH, should not be walking this planet. They are a Danger to Society.

      • Todd Millions says:

        Sparticus- Your first post on this is on to something which I have being reluctant to
        mention or discuss for a very long time. Lest it give ideas to Enron grade”influencers”.
        Over these middle management scammers, I expect my notions are old hat and the stakes are going up again on the never leaves them double or nothing schedule.
        Interactions between depressants and stimulants- These have being keyed to each other for a long time of course-interrogation/manipulation spectrum uses. Combat drugs where the hopped up cannon fodder doesn’t spin around and hose the officers observing, or the “backup” security elements-never stationed on the firing line.
        My worry is that the pharma firms involved have being and are now more so tied into our food system and ‘agricultural’ supply arms of biowarfare -protection rackets.
        So a comprehensive mind addling poisoning regime that kills all in the most profitable way possible(slowwwly),leaving everyone paralyzed and too impaired to act
        Is quite doable.
        In fact its done.
        How much of this pain/euphoria see saw is being set up And run from the food supply?
        Not a new notion. But the Global round implemented during the Clinton Junta is rendering this all pervasive with the best ‘research expenses’ deductible perception management of course. On top of the board of directors positions for our mage statesmen apon retirement(Prewhored).
        For an illustration of this-check on Starlink corn originally developed by Adventis
        and the symptom effects noted and documented in pig barns,years before it was noted the pollen from the “sterile hybrid”had escaped and contaminated all corn stocks.
        As it still does.
        Now we are to have Crisper modification-its more precise.
        Which translated of course means it will hit you in more specific targeting that the treatments for the symptoms will just be in the patent/approval pipeline. Whether the (toxic)placebos actually work or not.
        The not being covered by tranquilizers-new or ‘repatented’.
        This allowed the Oxitec ‘escaped’ insect tests with the faux failsafe to be slid by
        with a blame Zika campaign.
        I’m not surprised tho disappointed. When it comes to this level of profitable delusion-
        Most Mormons need no tranquilizers.

        • Sparticus says:

          You are correct about pharmaceutical companies doing everything for profit only. There needs to be Universal Healthcare ( nobody should be without healthcare) with a real “ethics committee” that disciplines these gangsters. When 300-million customers say, “lower prices” the prices get lowered.

          Universal Healthcare will give government more power to negotiate prices. They can also demand better. You, by yourself, can only be victimized by Insurance Fraud. People, however, have to ensure “proper representation” or they will be made into slave Zombies with SSRIs and other Dangerous FDA approved drugs.

          Today, People are already being bombarded with many drugs for depression, psychosis and other types of diagnosis largely made up by the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Statistics Manual-psych), for profit, naturally.

          I had many people (most of my patients) on 20 different pills ( Most BS) and it is managed, but is it healthy, NO. Prednisone, a common anti-inflammatory drug can put you into a murderous psychosis ( prednisone psychosis) something narcotics do not do as harshly. My Point, “all drugs are dangerous” and must be handled properly. The Major Problem is the over-criminalization of a natural product and that`s something that relates back to the dark ages.

          Truthfully, SSRI drugs like Zoloft and Paxil ( the most commonly prescribed for depression/bi-polar) are far more dangerous than Heroin. I have had old ladies ( in my professional career) try to stab me with a knife ( with zero recollection afterwards); while in a psychosis that the drug caused because they were not tapered/monitored properly. I never had a Heroine addict ( ON a Taper, I worked with many, professionally) try to stab me with a knife. People are already on a cocktail of drugs and the most dangerous ones, are legal, and prescribed by doctors.

          There are always idiosyncratic/allergic effects possible with any drug because the people and combinations are always making reactions possible. However, the doctors and pharmacists do a fairly good job at keeping people safe. I want to put Heroin, Cocaine and other drugs in this category ( for study) and to help people. If people want drugs, then let them get them “safely” from the “doctor” and a responsible corporation that medically measures and prepares the doses so people do not die in the street. I am civil.

          Also, this product can be “taxed” and the Jails would be emptied, so think about the money saved. Drugs are no Different than Alcohol, and if a problem develops, there are treatment facilities. We know how to handle this problem. However, “special Interests” make profit on putting people in prison. This is where the resistance comes from, naturally, and it is all greed based. People suffer because of this Greed.

          Again, the People must learn to fight back; because the entire system is against them.

          In closing, I will say, any drug that is natural is safer than what you get from the pharmacy companies. The problem with Heroin is that typical dealers measure wrong and, or, add extremely dangerous product to increase profit. Marijuana is an excellent pain medication, and has no addictive properties, so using this drug alone could end the opiate crisis.

        • Sparticus says:

          I Replied to this post but my reply got deleted.

          Pharmaceutical companies need regulated by a Universal Healthcare Plan that includes “everyone” and does not discriminate based on Age, Gender, Race or Other Bias.

          If the government has enough people in a single universal plan, the corporations must obey, or they go BK if the US government does not approve of their conduct. This is the only way to make healthcare work, but the government must be made up of good people. The latter is the problem.

          All Drugs are Dangerous. I can kill someone Just as Easily with heroin or vitamin A. All Drugs Must be “handled responsibly” and with medical supervision. There are many “very dangerous” SSRIs ( Paxil, Zoloft) medications being prescribed “for profit” and they are more dangerous than many types of street drugs. You do not hear about all of the problems; however, check the lawsuits and you will get a taste of it.

          Drugs -for medicinal/recreational purposes- should be legal; otherwise, make alcohol illegal because they all have the same properties, effects and problems. Drugs should be legally and safely packaged per-dose, by a respectable corporation, thereby, NO MORE Overdoses.

          Drugs can be TAXED and this will fund Universal Healthcare; additionally, Cut down on Wars, and it all pays for itself. The Jails will be emptied -and there will be very little crime in America- if we eliminate the “stupid crime” of making natural drug products illegal, because this is dark ages barbarism! Marijuana ALONE could end the opiate crisis; because it is a AAA painkiller with no addiction!

          Doctors gave you the Opiate mess ( Big Pharma Profit) that Chemists fornicated with and made Oxycontin. However, all drugs can be managed and there are treatment programs for problems if they develop. There are FAR More benefits -for everyone- in legalizing All Drugs than the idiotic, Judgmental, Religious Stupidity of Criminalizing Everything!

          Simply, If God put it here … Enjoy it, Responsibly!

          • Todd Millions says:

            Yes-including the sin taxes.Those tend too be very addicting to governments.I can’t stand to think of how many nuc power plants ,the father of the current Canadian pm profited from(via”blind trust’-controlling interest,in La Farge cement/concrete) ‘paid ‘for-by having federal workplace inspectors come around and cut the asbestos warning labels off bags of mastics used in steam plants. Including the one I worked in. I found the labels and the distinct knife the inspector used months later-well hidden. So between the asbestos sales(the warning labels were for bags destined for US sales-we got them by mistake.)and the tabbac & beer taxes-we have had now almost 3 generations of Ontarioittes with ‘routine tritium release’ brain shrinkage-decades after shutdown!
            I don’t regard this as God’s work-nor should a bill be presented to him for it.
            Similarly-Zero Hedge reports a new health care firm is being formed.
            By Amazon,Berkshire and Chase.
            Tapeworms are mentioned in the report.
            But no mention of mirrors!
            Russian Hacking?
            Perhaps-but I do know who will pay for this abortion.

          • Sparticus says:

            Giving God an easy is why He never answers. It is disrespectful not to hold God ( the Alpha and Omega, look what He did to Job for Gods sake) accountable for every microbe, that is, if, you really believe? So … No Easy for God. He will not be easy on us. If I make children people hold me accountable, but I expect much more of God; and therefore, He is responsible for mankind. He bought that bullet.

            Amazon and Berkshire will never present anything for healthcare that is reasonable. Corporations are PIGS. They gorge themselves and murder the people. People need to stop bailing them out and bail themselves out “with their own money” because it is the peoples tax-dollar and people should have healthcare.

            And, free will, well, Like I tell “everyone” who believes in such foolishness … ” look in the Mirror” and then lets talk about free will. Nobody dares challenge. There are many things people need to learn about God. Jacob, in the biblical story, had to wrestle with God to get his blessing … Translation, God is Cruel. Therefore, mankind better be sharp and “strong enough” to say the Truth and not FEAR. People have to learn to FEAR NOTHING, especially, death, and when one reaches this level nothing can stop you.

            Sin tax`s are made by a bunch of “fools and hypocrites” using terms they do not comprehend. They are sinners calling something a sin that is not; obviously, they think they do not sin. Brilliant people, indeed! However, It is not a sin to drink or do drugs … Only, becomes a possible sin when it reaches excess. There is no Commandment that says “No Drinking or Drugs” and the Bible Implicitly warns: ” DO NOT ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY.” Priests do not challenge me on scripture. Some have tried only to learn they learn that they do not have answers!

            Obviously, we have to have Tax to have a Society that functions. Taxes on recreation ( drugs, alcohol: so long as they are reasonable) are preferable to taxes on Income, Property and Necessity. Obviously, the more recreational drugs the broader the tax base and reductions on items come. The Marijuana trade is worth Trillions alone. This could ( along with emptying Jails and Stopping Wars) Eliminate All Current Debt? The alternative is unacceptable and costs too much. Making drugs illegal causes CRIME ( up to 50-percent of all crime) and Costs are Catastrophic. We all pay for this reality.Legalizing them makes them safe and allows adults “free choice” which is what America was supposed to be all about.

            I am for free choice, I certainly do not want some uneducated DEA thug making my decisions for me. I am a healthcare professional.

            And, again, in conclusion …. The government must be made up of good and responsible people; otherwise, you will get nuclear plants leaking radiation and poisoning the population.

          • Sparticus says:

            Oh, and additionally, to totally fund universal healthcare … easy, a penny tax for every unhealthy ingredient in food. Who could disagree? Cheap … and it may improve the quality of your food. Pennies … but those pennies add up.

            Additionally, Corporations, (the pigs) no longer have to pay for healthcare and will therefore be able to pay higher wages. Now,, if you want to pay ZERO TAX, eat healthy, and this is a plan that rewards good behavior.

            And, if people find that government/wall street is outrageous “they have the power” so take it to the NYSE and put a Million Man Protest Short on the market. They lose Trillions, per day, in profit, so it will not be long before they apologize and OBEY the people. If they wait too long, downgrades will come, and they go BK.

          • Sparticus says:

            I shortened it to avoid the censor.

            Amazon and Berkshire will never present anything for healthcare that is reasonable. Corporations are PIGS. They gorge themselves and murder the people. People need to stop bailing them out and bail themselves out “with their own money” because it is the peoples tax-dollar and people should have healthcare.

            Sin tax`s are made by a bunch of “fools and hypocrites” using terms they do not comprehend. They are sinners calling something a sin that is not; obviously, they think they do not sin. Brilliant people, indeed! However, It is not a sin to drink or do drugs … Only, becomes a possible sin when it reaches excess. There is no Commandment that says “No Drinking or Drugs” and the Bible Implicitly warns: ” DO NOT ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY.” Priests do not challenge me on scripture. Some have tried only to learn they learn that they do not have answers!

            Obviously, we have to have Tax to have a Society that functions. Taxes on recreation ( drugs, alcohol: so long as they are reasonable) are preferable to taxes on Income, Property and Necessity. Obviously, the more recreational drugs the broader the tax base and reductions on items come. The Marijuana trade is worth Trillions alone. This could ( along with emptying Jails and Stopping Wars) Eliminate All Current Debt? The alternative is unacceptable and costs too much. Making drugs illegal causes CRIME ( up to 50-percent of all crime) and Costs are Catastrophic. We all pay for this reality.Legalizing them makes them safe and allows adults “free choice” which is what America was supposed to be all about.

            I am for free choice, I certainly do not want some uneducated DEA thug making my decisions for me. I am a healthcare professional.

            And, again, in conclusion …. The government must be made up of good and responsible people; otherwise, you will get nuclear plants leaking radiation and poisoning the population.

  3. ICFubar says:

    A complete list of those benefiting from the addictive drug trade would also include those profiting from the illicit drug market. This would lead us directly to the state and state agencies that cross almost all national boundaries as part of larger international business plannings from Washington to Moscow to Tel Aviv and any associated bailiwicks.

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