Deaths From Opioid Overdoses Continue

It is obvious that telling people not to overdose on heroin will not stop, or even slow, deaths. More young people now die from heroin overdoses than from cancer.

Humans seem to be hard wired for anxiety. Perhaps that helped early humans survive. Now, large numbers of people seek solutions to feelings of anxiety by taking these drugs. The feelings that drive them to this use have been there forever it seems.

If we as a society could accept that people will take heroin so long as it is plentiful and cheap, which is reality, then we could move onto approaching the substance with at least some level of rationality. It is not rational to think people will not stop taking it.

As I said here several times, taking regulated amounts of heroin is not harmful or dangerous. It should not be considered a moral failure. Safe use of heroin is no more a moral issue than drinking safe amounts of alcohol and maybe even less harmful–there are conflicting results on moderate drinking.

Were it not for the moral/religious clouds hanging over drugs like heroin, we could almost eliminate the deaths from overdoses. This would be done be legalizing the drug, making available only though regulated channel and administering it by trained technicians.

In conservative politics the lives of one-cell fetuses, abortion, is worth marching in the streets for. More heroin deaths than cancer deaths among young people, paraphrasing, we real Christians are so important we can’t be bothered with that.

26 Responses

  1. Joe

    Would you yourself be willing to take regulated amounts of heroin? to prove it is Not harmful or dangerous as you stated in your article? Or maybe you already have and found that to be the case, if so, no need to answer the question. Or I guess it could be that you’ve seen a study that proves that it is not harmful, and maybe that will lead to exactly what you are suggesting happen with heroin. I would think it wouldn’t happen for awhile yet until marijuana gets fully legalized and regulated, which is rapidly moving along. Once that system is fully running, I think they may use that model to legalize and regulate Heroin next. May God’s graces be sent down upon you.

    1. Joe 8:22 Would you yourself be willing to take regulated amounts of heroin? to prove it is Not harmful or dangerous as you stated in your article?

      No, it is illegal. If I were to find some heroin on the street I would not know its strength so I could easily die from it.

      As I said in the blog, more young people are dying of heroin overdoses than of cancer. These deaths would go to close to zero if the drug was legalized and taken under medical supervision.

    1. Marko 9:25 You are a sick man, Jon. Get help. Seriously.

      Your analysis leaves out the more important question. Who could be more mentally ill than someone who hates this blog but reads it anyway?

  2. Joe

    I would tend to agree with your statement that the deaths from heroin could be diminished but I doubt close to zero if it’s legalized and taken under medical supervision. Just because I feel some of the unknown strength of the heroin from the streets would continue if the patient doesn’t feel the high he or she is getting administered under supervision is enough for them. From my understanding heroin causes more deaths than other illegal hard drugs, but since other illegal drugs also cause death I don’t think we should just legalize heroin then, we should also then legalize crystal meth, LSD, acid, cocaine, etc. Anything that would guarantee less unexpected deaths and souls being taken in this manner from these kinds of illegal drugs would probably be a good thing.

    1. Joe 9:41 Just because I feel some of the unknown strength of the heroin from the streets would continue if the patient doesn’t feel the high he or she is getting administered under supervision is enough for them.

      Do you talk to drug councilors or read what contemporary councilors say about this? There are lots of views. I can’t say your scenario would never happen but I do know there are many thousands of heroin users who have jobs and families and are functioning well in most every part of their lives. Among this group are people who die because they happen by extra strength stuff.

      We don’t tell a diabetic he cannot be dependent on insulin–we prescribe it for him/her. Experience I hear about says the heroin user almost always eventually finds he does not need it. But, forcing withdrawal often makes matters worse.

      1. Joe

        No, I don’t talk to drug counselors or read what contemporary counselors say about it. Was just my thoughts on it. Hopefully in the future they can find a way to treat the heroin addict like a diabetic as you alluded to above. I suppose that is altogether a whole other topic of debate. Is a heroin addict born an addict. Is a diabetic born a diabetic.

          1. Jinx II

            I am a Type I Diabetic and produce 0 insulin, if I did not have insulin I will be dead 1 to 2 weeks after my last shot. You should see my family tree, it is filled with Type 1 and Type II Diabetics back to the mid 1800’s. My Dad was 1 of 13 kids and 11 of them were Diabetic….4 Type 1’s and 7 Type II’s. I have numerous cousins who are Diabetics….about 30 out of 85 of them are Type 1’s. we definitely have a heavy genetic load for diabetes in our family.

            Twin research by U of MN, as well as twin and other research around the world show there is a genetic load for addictions. When combined with environment factors in utero, birth, infancy and childhood and adulthood and the stresses of daily life we get people with mental illness and a need to cope, somehow. This is obviously missing a number of points and is rather simplistic but you get the general idea.

  3. Marko

    Perfect response from a man in denial. I show concern for your well being and you call me mentally ill. No worries. You wont hear from me again. Just get help.

  4. Schurkey

    The “War on Drugs” is an abysmal failure. Worse, it’s counterproductive. It’s militarized the drug-producing nations, creating cartels. We’ve created a worse problem than the drugs themselves.

    The current trend to keep “street drugs” illegal, but to then provide counseling and “treatment” is utterly crazy. It is EXACTLY the opposite approach to what could be effective. It will waste a tremendous amount of resources and yet provide no lasting benefit. Nobody takes street drugs without having a lack of healthy self-respect, and with that, a lack of appropriate decision-making skills. Society is trying to make self-destructive behavior “safer”, and that’s impossible.

    Best thing we could do is allow heroin, meth, cocaine, etc. to be sold “pharmaceutical grade” at any drugstore for market price.

    The drug epidemic would be done in six months. (Not without losses and the pain of family and relatives)

    1. Jinx II

      I completely agree with you Shurkey, we have to get the black market/illegal trade out of drug use i order to make any headway. There is considerable support for this in other countries for opiod related drugs. Meth and crack appear to be a different story and I am not sure what the current international medical, social and criminal system research is, I’ll have to loo it up!

    1. Henry

      We have it too in America. It is called morphine. It is good for pain, not to be recreationally sipped on like a good iced tea. That leads to problems. When used properly, it is a good medication.

      Secularists like to make a moral issue out of it, beating people over the head with the issue. It is supposedly our fault the drug abusers die of overdose, do not work, steal, move dead bodies, lie to law enforcement, and generally look unhealthy. I am skeptical of that.

    2. Retired 6:02 Hasn’t England successfully used Heroin as a prescription drug? Maybe we can learn from them.

      Two or more places in the U. S. have simply stopped enforcing certain “illegal drug use.” When they come across it, they simply refer the person to professional clinics. Death by heroin overdoes plummeted. I don’t have time this morning to find the links.

  5. Bison Fan in NW MN

    Nice work to tie abortion in to this subject. An unborn baby does not have a choice. A drug user that is abusing heroin has a choice not to.

    A heroin addict is not born that way. America is the society that wants a pill for all “troubles”. Heck, people would take a pill instead of exercising to get into shape.

    Ha, legalize heroin Jon. Really? What else do you advocate for legalization?

    1. Bison Fan 6:20 Nice work to tie abortion in to this subject. An unborn baby does not have a choice. A drug user that is abusing heroin has a choice not to.

      This reflects anti abortion politics. It is not about “lives”, but about revenge and power. Revenge against women and their doctors, revenge against equal rights. If it were about lives, you would be in favor of saving lives of those who overdose on heroin–more lives than cancer in young adults.

      As to a choice, you would have to ask someone who uses drugs or people that treat those who use them. People have used substances for anxiety since the beginning of humans. I don’t need them, but three people close to me are on prescription meds for this kind of problem. If they had not gone to doctors but were in a circle of friends who took illegal drugs for anxieties or depression they might be illegal users today. So, do those who take them illegally have a character flaw not present on those who have been prescribed by a doctor?

  6. Juan Ruiz

    We are a nation of drugs. The AMA’s cozy relationship with big pharma assures that nearly everyone is on something. This is assured by the ridiculous low-level for “healthy” measurements of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and the like. Naturally active kids are diagnosed with ADHD and put on regimens. Prescriptions of adderol are handed out like candy. I know four college students who are addicted to it.

  7. Matt Noah

    I read the Oped section in the Forum and did not overdose or die, thankfully. I do think Oped should be legal. If people read it and die, it is obviously a birth defect of character flaw.

      1. entech

        Surprised it took so long for any comments! I do think Matt should be wary of reading “oped” and similar – an exposure to others ideas could lead to the death of his own narrow view. Perhaps not it would require some absorption and contemplation of possibility. Dare one say a little freethinking even.

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