On Oct. 26, President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a public health emergency and promised to redirect federal resources to
the problem. In his speech announcing yet another war on drugs, Trump told a story about his brother Fred’s addiction to a completely legal substance: alcohol. We all know how disastrous alcohol prohibition was in the early 20th century, so could a
new government battle against opioids be any more successful?
“Of course not,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “Drug wars have been failing for over 100 years. The role of government is to deal with people who hurt other people, steal from them, or violate agreements. That’s it. Futile attempts to prevent people from harming themselves with drugs don’t fall under that umbrella.”
According to drug abuse historian David Courtwright of the University of North Florida, there were an estimated 300,000 opioid addicts at the peak of addiction in the 19th century, representing an addiction rate of 0.48 percent of the population.
“This is a stunningly low percentage for a time when there were essentially no drug laws,” Sarwark said. “Morphine, opium, marijuana, cocaine, laudanum, and other currently illegal drugs were freely available, with or without prescription and in many unregulated patent medicines. Today, according to the rehabilitation specialists at Addictions.com, there are 12 million illegal users of opioids. That’s 3.9 percent of today’s population — an eightfold increase.”
Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a small but stable correlation between opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths from any opioid, legal or illegal, between 2006 and 2010 — roughly one death per 13,000 prescriptions. In 2010, federal pressure caused a decrease in legal opioid prescriptions. The correlation between opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths turned sharply negative. Fewer legal prescriptions led to more overdose deaths.
“Reducing the supply of legal prescriptions for opioids is pushing people into black market heroin/fentanyl abuse,” pointed out Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer, a Phoenix surgeon and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “The no. 1 cause of drug deaths is drug prohibition. We need to change our focus to harm reduction. We need to change from a war on drugs to a war on drug deaths.”Read more
It is all over the newspapers, magazines, and television; we have an Opioid Crisis!
According to Healthy Wisconsin, “Over the last ten years, opioid related hospital visits and deaths in Wisconsin have doubled, especially among young adults. Prescription opioids are the most common culprit, but using heroin—a strong, cheap and easily available alternative to prescription drugs—is also on the rise. In fact, three out of four heroin users started by abusing prescription painkillers.” (Not marijuana.)
Unfortunately, then this state agency, as well as our President, promote more government “solutions.” The real cause of this “crisis” goes back to many government policies which must be dismantled.
Why do we have an Opioid Crisis?
- Big Pharma (large pharmaceutical companies which have a powerful, negative influence.) has influenced doctors and government agencies to accept increased doses of prescription drugs. When addicted and their prescriptions run out, some patients then switch to black market drugs (more pills or heroin). Big Pharma also influences legislators to prohibit cannabis (marijuana) as a safe, natural, non-addictive alternative to the chemicals they sell. Recent bills in the Wisconsin Legislature to permit more adults to use licensed cannabis have been blocked.
- Drug Prohibition. Until the Harrison Act was passed in 1914, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter. There was no opioid crisis because there was no war on drugs. With drug prohibition, the black market took over and the availability of the drug one wanted from a clean store in a specific strength in a safe, legal transaction disappeared. Thanks a lot, Washington. Why does this failed program continue? Follow the money.
“A 23-year-old Rothschild man was sentenced Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court to nine years in prison for providing heroin to a man who later died of an overdose in Weston.” Wausau Daily Herald, 9/13/2017
So, a Rothschild dealer sold something to a guy who wanted to buy it in Weston and later died. “Reckless homicide by the delivery of drugs.” What a crock.
A heroin epidemic has been expanding enormously for the last several years. While politicians offer failed solutions, the real solution is to legalize drugs.
There are two causes for this drug problem:
- The War on Drugs which creates profit incentives in the black market for the distribution of the most dangerous drugs.
- The pharmaceutical-medical-FDA complex, or Big Pharma, which profits from treating pain with dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
In a free market, heroin would come in an unadulterated pharmaceutical grade form of various identified doses. It would have warning labels and instructions. Someone might have to consult a medical doctor or pharmacist before purchasing heroin, or might have to go to a clinic. The producers, distributors, and retailers would have some liability for negligence. Before it was made illegal in 1914 one of the most popular heroin products was Bayer’s Heroin.