Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Opioid Abuse

This is what is bothering me about the opioid addiction crisis: Once again, we're in a situation where an industry produced and promoted a very harmful substance, fought at every step attempts to control the sale of that substance. They got lots of legislators on their side. But once it was irrefutable that their product was harming people by the stadium-full, they washed their hands of it. They blame everyone else, but not themselves.

We've been down this road before: Tetraethyl lead in motor fuel. Leaded paint. Tobacco. Freon.

I'm not buying it. The pharma companies like to distance themselves from profiteers like Shkreli and Bresch, but those two vultures are bit players. Hell, even Bresch's dad, who is a senator, can see that the opioid crisis was driven by the greed of the pharmaceutical companies:
Senator Manchin is not persuaded [by Big Pharma's protestations of innocense].

“Look at the amount of pills they shipped into certain parts of our state and the pill mills that sprouted up and everyone trying to hide behind thinking it was legal. It was awful. Absolutely awful,” he said. “I believe it was business driven. It was a business model. Those who have done extremely well on that and been rewarded very highly for that have looked at it as a legal business plan like any other business plan.”
Unlike the cartel leaders, these drug pushers claim to be legitimately rich from what they have been selling.

While the classical drug lords have always had to worry about either being arrested or killed by rivals, the "respectable" pushers of addictive drugs get to live quietly with no fear of being shot or being arrested. Because that's what being rich and buying politicians can get you.

Meanwhile, expect more of the same from the Feds: "We need tougher drug laws"-- (heroin's been illegal for almost a century). Treatment centers won't be funded, because the standard right-wing response to drug addiction is "so die, already". It always has been.


dinthebeast said...

Fergus claimed back in August, I believe, that he was declaring the opioid situation a national emergency, which would have been a good thing that would have freed up funding for treatment and gotten doses of Narcan into the hands of a lot of people in the position to save lives with them.
Problem is, though, he never actually did it.
If he comes through and does it, even after all of these intervening months and the thousands upon thousands of overdose deaths that have happened in them (about 90 per day) I will publicly applaud him for it.
Problem #2 is that the most effective tools we have currently are funded by Medicaid, and they are trying to destroy Medicaid (first with their ACA repeal, then with their budget, which might actually pass) and that, even if the state of emergency is declared, will more than cancel it out.
I have said all I need to say here about what I think of Purdue Pharma, and the Sackler family who made billions from pushing a drug stronger than morphine for years and years, and were rewarded for it by becoming a philanthropic institution. The phrase "blood money" keeps chasing itself around in my head whenever I think of them.
But I will say that buying congresscritters isn't the only insulation from accountability you can buy with boatloads of ill-gotten cash: none of the folks who run the research wings at universities and hospitals they have endowed seem to know a damn thing about where they got the money to pay for it, and to a one, describe them as "lovely people."

-Doug in Oakland

Comrade Misfit said...

Perdue Pharma is the Sackler family. They own the entire company, making them the wealthiest drug-pushers in the world.

CenterPuke88 said...

Comrade, as you pointed out, politicians these days are rented or leased, not bought. But, that being said, more than a few should burn in hell for their part in this mess.

Chuck Pergiel said...

I just found out that heroin possession in Oregon is a misdemeanor, which surprised me. Just wanted to toss that into the stew.

Comrade Misfit said...

Heroin possession is also a Federal misdemeanor. But if you own a gun, even if it was sitting in a safe the entire time, they'll ding you for that and try to send you away for ten years.

w3ski said...

"They" have the most addicting drug in the entire world, locked up with Government regulation and patent rights. Legalized for their manufacturing and distribution and of course their Profit!
The Cartels must be really envious.

Anonymous said...

When the opioid prescription was filled and signed for, the recipient agree to arbitration?

billshearn said...

Fun fact - the same engineer/chemist gave us leaded gasoline and Freon! Yea science! Can't remember the name but Kevin Drum at Mother Jones is all over the leaded gas issue.

Bill Hearn

Comrade Misfit said...


If memory serves: Thomas Midgley, Jr. He's probably responsible for more environmental damage than any other single individual.

BadTux said...

It was ironic justice that Midgley died from being strangled to death by one of his own inventions. The same, alas, will never happen with the Sackler family -- none of them will ever die of a heroin overdose. SIGH.