The Hypocrisy of America’s “Opioid Epidemic”

Recently the Obama Administration proposed a 1.1 billion dollar initiative to fight the “opioid epidemic” currently gripping America, stating that “prescription drug abuse and heroin use have taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families, while straining resources of law enforcement and treatment programs.” The Federal government is not alone, State governments around the country, including my home state of New Hampshire, are also trying to pass similar funding measures of their own on the local level.

The irony of the situation is that all of these initiatives directly fund pharmaceutical companies to develop new prescriptions, in order to counteract the symptoms of addiction caused by the very prescription drugs these pharmaceutical companies produce in the first place.

Some Facts To Consider

Would you be surprised to know that 70% of United States Citizens are on at least one prescription drug, that half the population is on at least two prescription drugs and 50% of teenagers are on at least one prescription drug? How about the fact that 80% of addiction cases in the United States start as the result of a legally prescribed drug?

With this in mind, consider the fact that last year alone the global pharmaceutical market produced a combined total revenue of 980.1 Billion US$. For the life of me, I can not understand why people do not stop and think, what is the root cause of drug abuse in this country? Where is it all coming from? How are addicts getting all of these drugs in the first place? Why are the drug suppliers, the pharmaceutical companies and doctors themselves, not held accountable or legally liable for this problem?

Isn’t it also odd that, according to Federal statistics, since 2001 heroine related deaths in the United States have spiked over 500%. What happen in 2001? In case you do not remember, in 2001 the U.S. army invaded Afghanistan in conjunction with the US War on Terrorism. It just so happens that Afghanistan is also responsible for over 90% of the worlds opium production to this day. Did I mention that the US Department of Defense first invented the Deep Web where many of these illegal drugs are sold? Think that is all just a coincidence?

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The hypocrisy of the situation is that, according to the Center for Disease Control, alcohol kills +88,000 Americans each year. That is literally 80,000 more people than opioid prescriptions and 70,000 more than heroin kills each year. Furthermore, alcohol – not hard line drugs – is the number one cause of crime in the United States at the same time.

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This whole issue may be more glaring to me, particularly because of where I happen to live, New Hampshire. Nearly everyday on television I see political ads from Hassan/Ayotte¬† talking about the “heroin/opioid crisis” and I read articles on the Live Free or Die Alliance about what the state is trying to do about it. However, I seem to be the only person in society concerned by the fact that New Hampshire leads the United States in alcohol consumption per capita, we are literally the drunkest state in the country.

I just sit an wonder to myself, where is societies outrage? Where are all the millions,¬† billions of dollars in Federal initiatives trying to save people from the dangers of alcohol? If all of these initiatives are truly about saving peoples lives, then why are we allocating so much money towards an opioid crisis, rather than on more pressing issues, which kill more people, such as alcohol abuse? Why are we facing a “opiod/heroine epidemic” and not a “alcohol epidemic“? Why is alcohol socially celebrated while other drugs, which are less harmful to society, are persecuted?

It might have something to do with the fact that alcohol taxation revenue netted the United States government 9.6 billion dollars last year.

So there you have it, morality in politics is quite literally bought. Our Government is asking the taxpayers for 1.1 billion dollars to fight an issue less harmful to society than the one that is making the Government 9.6 billion from those same taxpayers. All the while, the pharmaceutical companies whom produce all of these drugs and the doctors that distribute these drugs out into society face no consequences whatsoever. Instead, they are the direct beneficiaries of more federal funding on top of their yearly profit margins.


This article (The Hypocrisy of The War on Drug and America’s “Opioid Epidemic”) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4