More Americans now die from drug overdose than from any other cause of injury death.
I’m cruising the roads of North Carolina, listening to NPR, when some public health professional says: “For the first time in American history, drugs are killing more people than car crashes and shootings.”
Damn. Those working to cleanse our country of its drug addiction certainly have their new battle cry.
Upon research I found that, according to the CDC, death by drug overdose has been rising since 1992. Here’s the 2010 comparison:
Drug Overdose: 38,329
Traffic Accidents: 33,687
“Good Samaritan and naloxone access laws are important first steps in tackling the overdose problem. But much more is needed, such as integrating overdose prevention into existing drug education programs.”
Naloxone access laws? Overdose prevention? That’s all fine and dandy but it seems to be missing the cultural component. The way we grab for pills at the slightest problem, the way thousands upon thousands of our brilliant college graduates enter Big Pharma to work not on issues like malaria or cancer but on pushing or developing drugs that prevent balding or numb the feeling of hunger or allow a man “to last” for two hours instead of 90 minutes. We need to reframe our minds as to what a drug dealer looks like. As of now, it’s the dude on the street corner. But perhaps we should make some room to include the college grad in cap and gown.
Among high school students, the University of Michigan found that Vicodin was the second-most abused drug after marijuana. Pair this with the alarming rate at which babies are born with withdrawal-like symptoms and how 15% of students in grades 9 through 12 admit to prescription drug abuse, and it’s clear we’ve got a problem that, according to the CEO of The Partnership at DrugFree.org, is…
“…not getting better. In fact, it’s getting deeper and more complex.”
What initiatives out there are working? What are some ways we can put a dent in this problem? We need a wholly different kind of War on Drugs — one that helps an entire society pivot the way it ingests not only drugs but information from the Big Pharma-backed media, politicians, reps and “healthcare” professionals who influence and validate their use.