Opinion – NYTimes: Words, Not Action, From Mr. Trump on Opioids – NYT – John Gelmini

A public health emergency must be declared and doctors in America must be required to offer more treatments which are not solely based on drugs.Similarly, people have to be nudged into better lifestyles and taking greater care of their own health and thinking processes.

Dr Alf is right to say that the process must involve Donald Trump taking effective action based on a strong response to the problem once he understands it fully along with all its ramifications.

His problem with non prescription drugs is, of course, the flow of poppy crop from places like Afghanistan which used to be facilitated by Hamid Karzai’s brother, who worked for the CIA, who augmented their budget with the proceeds of drug sales .

The left hand in the form of the Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI and the police are trying to stop drug trafficking but the right hand is bringing the deadly material into the country, where proceeds keep Wall Street and the banking system afloat whilst the price is lower productivity, death’s of drug addicts and a massive medical emergency.

It may well take one of Trumps generals to cut through the Gordian knot but as things stand there is no solution from the Donald.

John Gelmini

Opinion – Opioid epidemic shares chilling similarities with the past – The Washington Post

English: Three drug addicts seen smoking a hug...

English: Three drug addicts seen smoking a huge amount of crack cocaine, in a downtown eastside alley, in Vancouver BC Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s an excellent article by The Washington Post. It reports that while declaring the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, President Donald Trump said: “Nobody has seen anything like what’s going on now.” The article takes a longitudinal perspective, using historic evidence, to challenge Trump’s assertion.

Source: Opioid epidemic shares chilling similarities with the past – The Washington Post

The article is important because it highlights many major drug epidemics in the US, going back to the Civil War. There are a number of recurrent themes, including aggressive marketing from pharmaceutical companies, and the growing importance of illegal drugs. Another recurrent theme is widespread use of drugs in the US miliary, especially in wars.

Unfortunately, the article does not provide a checklist of winning intervention strategies. While there are some clues, it misses the point that perhaps the context has changed. For example, there’s now a global supply-chain of illicit drugs to US addicts and the CIA with its interventions in Afghanistan is an integral player. Also social attitudes are different – the public quickly turned against ‘crack cocaine‘ users but there’s a widespread sympathy for opioid addicts. Recent research by Pew highlights that nearly fifty percent of US families can cite a member with opioid addiction, so perhaps the current crisis is larger as Trump highlighted.

There are many threads to the current US opioid epidemic. Older addicts have typically turned to prescriptions and overzealous doctors and drug companies have rushed to meet their needs. But the more alarming threat is to younger addicts who are turning to imported, illegal drugs.

Perhaps, there’s room to focus on sociological trends in US society that leave the underprivileged, from lower social groupings, light on education and skills, weak on motivation, and deprived of opportunity – all highly vulnerable to drug addiction?