Read the original press release from the US DoJ. It reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing the formation of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, a new Department of Justice pilot program to utilize data to help combat the devastating opioid crisis that is ravaging families and communities across America.
The language of the press release is a bit sterile but Sessions’ speach adds some color and a touch of context.
I am totally amazed at this response to the gathering opioid pandemic in the US. Fresh faced with my MBA, I was analyzing data looking for statistical abnormalities in my twenties, nearly fifty years ago, way before personal computers, in the days of massive mainframe computers with limited power by today’s standards.
I’ve also operated at executive level in both the public and private sectors. I seriously struggle to understand why the DoJ has not been analyzing this data routinely for years?
Drug overdose is now clearly the largest cause of death for the under fifties in the US, particularly in the lower educated and unskilled (typically those who voted for Trump). The Chair of the Fed has highlighted the US labor productivity problem because of drug abuse.
Most serious commentators speculate about the US opioid epidemic becoming a pandemic without serious policy interventions in the two core areas: (1) enforcement; and (2) rehabitilitation.
Let me ask an open question:
Massive funds are invested in the US military machine but why is Trump’s America not ready to stop the risk of an opioid pandemic?