Overdose Deaths Are Up – Way Up

 

Overdose deaths last year were up over the previous year, way up. The new government numbers are out and they are alarming. It is like a 9/11 every other week. From AP:

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

“This is a staggering loss of human life,” said Brandon Marshall, a Brown University public health researcher who tracks overdose trends.

The nation was already struggling with its worst overdose epidemic but clearly “COVID has greatly exacerbated the crisis,” he added.

Lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions and made treatment harder to get, experts said.

The worst part is that the deaths are not of the aged, but of young people that are part of families with many years to contribute to their communities. The highest age group for OD deaths is 25-34.  The trend is not only increasing OD deaths, but the average age is getting younger. When it comes to life-years lost, overdoses were a bigger tragedy than Wuhan Flu last year.

The cause is certainly complicated, but the data show that synthetic opioids are a new rising cause. The source of which is mostly China. Thus China was the source of not only the pandemic, but the opioids that took so many more life-years. A double whammy.

The abrupt increase in overdose deaths is likely related to the impacts of lockdowns: job loss, isolation, and stress.  Thus blame must also be placed on the lockdown industry (government and Corporate Media). While suicides were down 5% in 2020; anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation were all up. Overall, 2020 was a bad year for mental health in America.

With the worst of the pandemic and the lockdowns behind us, we Opium warsshould expect overdose deaths to drop in 2021 and 2022. But the numbers will still be high. I think the problem is the proliferation and lethality of fentanyl.  This is a failure of our government to stop trafficking of this drug.  In the 1800s, China fought two wars with Britain to stop the harm of Britain importing opium into China. Importing opium was considered an act of war then, it should be today and we should treat it that. We should punish China with trade sanctions until they stop this chemical warfare against Americans. China should also be opened to civil lawsuits. We have a 9/11 every other week and we are ignoring it. Please call your congressional representative today!

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  1. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!): With the worst of the pandemic and the lockdowns behind us, we should expect overdose deaths to drop in 2021 and 2022.  But the numbers will still be high.  I think the problem is the proliferation and lethality of fentanyl.   This is a failure of our government to stop trafficking of this drug.  In the 1800’s, China fought 2 wars with Britain to stop the harm of Britain importing opium into China.  Importing opium was a considered an act of war then, it should be today and we should treat it that. 

    They have never gotten over this, and they do seek revenge and vindication. From Xi Jinping’s speech on the 100th anniversary of the CCP

     

    After the Opium War of 1840, however, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

     

     

    • #1
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This is an excellent post. These numbers were not available throughout most of the pandemic lockdowns. I looked for them and could not find them. It was government censorship. 

    Thank you. 

    • #2
  3. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    This is wild. I have no strong drug war opinions. I see reasons to fight drugs but don’t think the government, as we have now, is trustworthy enough to do so, and that there is good historical evidence to back this up. But, the idea of fighting drugs isn’t on its face wrong.

    I think the loss of life is sad. It isn’t just that this “happened” it is that we have a population of people that didn’t see much else for their life than drugs. And I’m not trying to condemn those people or blame anyone but I would rather we have a culture of stronger celebration of life. “Suicides” are “down” while “overdoses” are “up.” Okay. No. That’s wrong. The overdoses are slow motion rolling suicides and it’s sad. I’m not blaming anyone who overdosed or got a bad habbit. Seeking help is not weak! 

    These ODs? It’s a rolling wave of slow-motion suicides and locking people down was horrific and absolutely a cause. I’m not denying COVID but I am saying there were a bunch of unintended consequences and a lot of people pushing these lockdowns should feel far more shame than they do. 

    • #3
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Last night, someone on Fox was claiming that during the early months of COVID, when most of Wuhan was cut off from the rest of the world, the amount of fentanyl coming into this country was greatly decreased.  However, as restrictions on the city decreased, the fentanyl labs came back online and speeded up production of the drug.  Naturally, the pipeline into this country was only too willing and able to get the drug into user hands.

    Sounds plausible but I haven’t been able to verify it.

     

    • #4
  5. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!):

    The abrupt increase in overdose deaths is likely related to the impacts of lockdowns: job loss, isolation, and stress.  Thus blame must also be placed on the lockdown industry (government and Corporate Media). While suicides were down 5% in 2020; anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation were all up. Overall, 2020 was a bad year for mental health in America.

     

    Fauci lied, people died.

    • #5
  6. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Why suicidal ideation go up but people’s actual suicide rates go down? 

    • #6
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    And Biden’s open borders are admitting a flood of drugs via the Mexican cartels. Chalk up those overdose deaths to Fauci and Biden’s accounts now. 

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Why suicidal ideation go up but people’s actual suicide rates go down?

    That baffles me, too. I was surprised to read a month or so ago that actual suicides went down in 2020, since I had read in multiple sources that the number of people who considered suicide was more than twice normal. Maybe people are too “chicken” to carry out their suicidal thoughts and just continue to exist in misery. Or some of those suicide thoughts became drug overdose deaths.

    • #8
  9. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Why suicidal ideation go up but people’s actual suicide rates go down?

    That baffles me, too. I was surprised to read a month or so ago that actual suicides went down in 2020, since I had read in multiple sources that the number of people who considered suicide was more than twice normal. Maybe people are too “chicken” to carry out their suicidal thoughts and just continue to exist in misery. Or some of those suicide thoughts became drug overdose deaths.

    The Glaeser article on suicides (he wrote it with others) argues that suicide attempters are different from completers (this is probably generally true based on the literature). Attempted suicides are attempted because they are a strategic call for help/attention (I apologize if this trivializes something like suicide). Basically, we have different populations. Attempters are different from completers because they are doing different things. This is also found in the gun homicide debates.

    I don’t know about drug ODs. I think it is in some sense, morally, a slow motion suicide but it all makes sense if you allow that the behavior has some strategy to it.

    • #9
  10. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I am inclined to think that people who want to get high are going to get high.  Even if the supply of Fentanyl were cut off completely (and you wouldn’t really want to do that, because it is used for legitimate pain relief in hospitals) addicts will use some other substance to abuse.  I hope that some day science can give us better knowledge about brain chemistry and addiction, because merely cutting off this drug or that one is not a fix.

    • #10
  11. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I am inclined to think that people who want to get high are going to get high. Even if the supply of Fentanyl were cut off completely (and you wouldn’t really want to do that, because it is used for legitimate pain relief in hospitals) addicts will use some other substance to abuse. I hope that some day science can give us better knowledge about brain chemistry and addiction, because merely cutting off this drug or that one is not a fix.

    To an extent, that is true; witness the homegrown meth labs.  However, I believe that Fentanyl is responsible for many more deaths.  

    • #11
  12. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I am inclined to think that people who want to get high are going to get high. Even if the supply of Fentanyl were cut off completely (and you wouldn’t really want to do that, because it is used for legitimate pain relief in hospitals) addicts will use some other substance to abuse. I hope that some day science can give us better knowledge about brain chemistry and addiction, because merely cutting off this drug or that one is not a fix.

    I think genetic engineering can help solve this problem. 

    • #12
  13. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Goldgeller (View Comment):
    These ODs? It’s a rolling wave of slow-motion suicides and locking people down was horrific and absolutely a cause.

    The new problem with fentanyl is that is so powerful that it ends up being used in all kinds of fake drugs and those drugs have “random” effects on people.  Somebody might think they are buying a Xanax at a club and get a fake one laced with fentanyl that kills them.  As long as drugs are illegal, they stuff sold on the streets will be of uncontrolled strength and people will die.   But, you can’t make it legal, because it is so strongly addictive.   I think the only answer is to stop it at the source, the pharmaceutical factories in China.  With China Inc., it is pure, cheap and plentiful. 

    • #13
  14. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Why suicidal ideation go up but people’s actual suicide rates go down?

    The ideation was among younger people, who are probably less likely to carry it out.  Middle-age men usually don’t fail.  Perhaps the gun shortage affected suicides.  Many books will be written about the great human experiment of 2020.

    • #14
  15. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I am inclined to think that people who want to get high are going to get high. Even if the supply of Fentanyl were cut off completely (and you wouldn’t really want to do that, because it is used for legitimate pain relief in hospitals) addicts will use some other substance to abuse. I hope that some day science can give us better knowledge about brain chemistry and addiction, because merely cutting off this drug or that one is not a fix.

    To an extent, that is true; witness the homegrown meth labs. However, I believe that Fentanyl is responsible for many more deaths.

    yes, Fentanyl is #1 by a lot (see chart 2 in the original post).    The interesting thing about opioids is that they can be cancelled out quickly with Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride).   I’d like to see some research on implanted Narcan for addicts.  If an addict take an opioid, the implant would cancel it out.  I’d also like to see implants used for schizophrenia too, but that is another story.  In my opinion, the implants could be done involuntarily by the state.  That is some Clockwork Orange thinking, but it is better than people dying in the streets or living in the streets. 

    • #15