America has for far too many years faced the single greatest drug wave in modern history, as a result of the opioid crisis.
The White House via President Trump tallies that the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars.
In an analysis to be released Monday, the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate has anticipated, something that should shock the entire nation.
The council said a 2016 private study which estimated that prescription opioid overdoses, abuse, and dependence on these illicit substances in the United States back in 2013 cost $78.5 billion.
Most of that was attributed to health care and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.
The council said its estimate is significantly larger because the epidemic has worsened, with overdose deaths doubling in the past decade, and that some previous studies didn’t reflect the number of fatalities blamed on opioids, a powerful but addictive category of painkillers.
The council also said previous studies focused exclusively on prescription opioids, while its study also factors in illicit opioids, including heroin.
“Previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly underestimate it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss fatalities resulting from overdoses,” said the report, which the White House released Sunday night.
President Donald Trump declared opioid abuse a national public health emergency last month at the White House, in which is long overdue.
For eight years Barack Obama did nothing, literally, as thousands upon thousands of Americans died and entire cities went fiscally into the red trying to deal with the surge of drug-related crimes and costs.
President Trump has already announced an advertising campaign to combat what he said is “the worst drug crisis in the nation’s history”, which is absolutely correct.
In the national report issued by an oversight panel earlier this month, they called only for more drug courts, more training for doctors and penalties for insurers that dodge covering addiction treatment. It did not call for new money to address the epidemic.
In reality, cities cannot afford this. You can't forever put a bandaid on a wound that's gushing blood.
It just doesn't work.
You must find the source of the problem and eliminate it. There's really no other way.
In fact, it's so demanding to both the Federal Government, State, and Local institutions that many simply do not have the resources available to counter the increasing statistics.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/287acb842e9705c2ce4cb8b85aee28c7d4f738c42bbd6a011865efdc6b2742e1.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
The loss of life as well is catastrophic, where the total number of deaths from opioid overdoses has surpassed that of gun violence, as reported late last year.
In 2016 alone<a href="https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates"> more than 64,000 Americans died </a>from drug overdoses.
Let that sink in for the moment.
Those numbers are up more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year and are only expected to continue to grow.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/06c798ef53f9f8675eeb2ef2b72776d651d23136129245040d489ce7c8ffe7e9.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
Synthetic opioids lead those fatality totals with over 20,145 deaths, fatal heroin overdoses coming in at around 15,446 deaths, and semi-synthetic and natural overdoses coming in at 14,427 deaths.
In comparison, more than 58,000 US soldiers died in the entire Vietnam War, nearly 55,000 Americans died of car crashes at the peak of such deaths in 1972, more than 43,000 died due to HIV/AIDS during that epidemic's peak in 1995, and nearly 40,000 died of guns during the peak of those deaths in 1993.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/1d6e168f4a64055e0ef7c0edbf425a6fbbdfbea8d92610252255a94478353b31.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
So you could say that more<a href="http://www.thegoldwater.com/news/2384-More-Americans-Died-of-Drug-Overdoses-this-Year-than-in-Entire-Vietnam-War"> Americans died from drug overdoses than during the entire Vietnam War</a>.
These are American citizens, often times teenagers or young Americans, who are swept under the wave of the epidemic through addiction and inability to break free from such to the point they inevitably lose their lives to the drug abuse.
It's a tragedy. Quite frankly, while many of those people have will not change no matter what anyone does to try to stop their addiction, it's costing the government of each state and local community more than they can continue to afford to dish out.
Communities in Ohio are so broke from responding to overdose calls and having to pay for the Narcan (overdose reversal drug) they have<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/4142-Ohio-Councilman-Stop-Sending-EMS-For-Overdoses"> actually debated on ending sending emergency medical services </a>to take care of those who are dying.
While the outrage over this is massive, it at the same time makes fiscal sense.
Cities which have higher welfare recipients than taxpayers are already in the red, and just <i>do not have the money available</i>, as bad as it sounds, to continue at the pace that they're doing at.
So where is the problem coming from?
There are multiple answers to that question.
Many would tell you that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and that doctors over prescribe narcotic painkillers which start addictions.
That's true. There's no denying that most opioid addictions began with painkillers, and inevitably turned to street drugs like the too easily available fentanyl and heroin.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/5a99892ffcc9168174d33d597e1d56870303a1f56e252b7dae20e06c9be860eb.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
However, most won't tell you that the world's leading heroin supplier is a nation the United States has occupied since 2001, Afghanistan.
That's correct, Afghanistan leads the world in opium production with<a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan"> over 90% of the world's heroin </a>supply coming from this region.
So many are left wondering why a nation that America controls, is exporting the heroin that's killing children?
There's no simple answer to this.
Could it be Deep State ties such as the CIA? Sure.
Could there be some military service members responsible for helping to smuggle it into the United States? Sure.
Could it be a criminal drug cartel bringing it into the United States? Sure.
Most likely, however, it's a vast combination of all the above in an international heroin trafficking syndicate that combines each of those groups with the assistance of foreign drug cartels themselves in cooperation with the intelligence community ties.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/9d522e581cf2aba6e81308ab3e2671dd489bf53f818db1496397c42e39d41954.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
What is certainly clear, is that prior to the invasion of Afghanistan the Taliban <i>actually reduced the opium poppy production</i> inside of Afghanistan and under the reign of the United States it has only increased.
Really makes you think, eh?
There's no easy solution. As long as the United States remains in Afghanistan, the problem will not end entirely it seems.
While much of the blame lay upon the previous two Administrations of George Bush and Barack Obama for letting the epidemic get to this point, it is now on President Trump to find a solution.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!