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It's a Deadly Combination: Drugs/Addiction/Mental Health/Hepatitis C

Updated on June 11, 2015

Seats On The Scary-go-round....

Getting off drugs is like getting off a moving merry-go-round.

120 Americans dying a day from overdoeses, 43,800 a year.

Enough pain killers prescribed to give every American 70 of them a year.(multiply that one!)*

"Do no harm." Really?

Now a drug is being pushed to save overdosed lives.

Who has stock in that manufacturer, and all the other problematics?

Are we a society whose values and morality, even common sense, are adrift?

Sharing needles? Is that a lack of education, or a case of mental disorders?

1st Seat: is it low education, low standards, mental illness, or the drugs themselves?

2nd Seat: are the rest of us just writing them off?

3rd Seat: are funerals cheaper (they are dollar wise) than treatment and education?

4th Seat: social ills from gangs, low employment, stagnant wages, the disintegration of the family,wide availability, and greed?

5th Seat: this one on the scary-go-round is only temporarily empty. It will fill soon.


* Both are government statistics announced on a WAMU/NPR program June 11, 2015.

Why is all this out of control?

Recently a woman living nearby checked herself into a hospital for severe depression. Her condition was apparently treated too casually. Within less than 24 hours she had died of a successful suicide in the hospital to which she had gone for help. Her close family was shocked, not so much that depression could lead to suicide, but that it happened where their family member had gone to save herself.

"Coming clean" from such a prevalence of drugs in our society is so remarkable that those who are attempting to slow the epidemic are thrilled when recounting the signal cases in which an addict actually survives to go on and have a productive life!

If the 70 times 380,000,000 pills per year figure was mind boggling, try to comprehend how all those pani killers got into circulation in America, Doing so you only have to look at who was seated on the scary-go-round mentioned above. Surely they didn't all come as the result of prescriptions filled by pharmacies, though many did.

For the many that did, where was FDA, DEA, FBI,and local law enforcement, while this flood of disasters was taking place across the country? Were the insurance companies complicit, too?

Take that number of that one type of medications and multiply that by how much each pill costs at retail, and you can see that a large part of the problem is profit driven, so much so that a percentage of home invasions, burglaries, and thefts by visitors are to steal the medications actuallyt sick patients legitimately need.

In the mix are the mental health issues, the illegal drugs issues, and all the rest.

The federal statistics came from an interview with a man whose emphasis seemed to be on helping first responders, such as police, emergency medical technicians, and hospital staffs have access to and training in how to administer a counter-acting drug that could reduce fatalities from drug overdoses.

While that effort is important, it is like a doctor treating the symptoms rather than the cause.

Things get done in our system of government only when there is enough public concern and pressure to get the responsible parties' undivided attention.

Perhaps an annual rate of deaths from overdoses that annually equals all our military fatalities from the Vietnam War is not enough to bring on that public pressure even as another election cycle rolls around.

Perhaps the empty seats on the scary-go-round will just continue to fill....and empty.


© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You brought up some very valid points. Funny how drug companies show astronomical profits, just like big oil.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      serenityjmiller - A repeated question is "Why do bad things happen to good people?" One possible answer is "So that bad people can be judged righteously." That is not particularly satisfying. Another possible answer is the oldest one I know of: "Those the gods love die young." None of these answers answer the question, so the question persists.

      Faith seems to say that "God knows what He is doing, but we mortals can only rely on it being just and serving His purpose for us."

      We mourn and continue to leave the uncontrollable in His hands.

      Many things happen with special tragedy because they could have been avoided due to a moment of inattention, failure to think first, taking an unnecessary risk, etc.

      This being said, we wish for a perfect world, the thousand years when Satan and his minions are bound, and more. All we can do is to prepare for His second coming by magnifying our own callings through service to others. That's enough, and more.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      These are very real, very raw tragedies, and nowhere are we told not to mourn the loss of these souls. The challenge is to accept that it's not "all about us." I know a young gentleman who'd been through the wringer and fought tooth and nail to maintain sobriety through some of the most difficult situations life can heap on a person. He had just about six years sober and seemed like everything was finally coming together for him. Then he and his girlfriend were hit by a semi truck while they were enjoying a motorcycle ride on the interstate. We get no explanation for these things in this life. We only get the message of hope left in the promise of the new life that can be. If it can be cut so short, is it any less valuable?

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      FlourishAnyway - There is much of sadness in the world, especially for folks who don't know why they are here and what is next when they aren't any longer. This week a very fine local family flew in their plane to Missouri for a family reunion of sorts. When the visit was over they boarded their plane and took off to return home. Folks on the ground waved goodbye as they crashed within sight and left mortality. Left behind were a son away as a missionary, another son studying in Germany, and a five year old son who survived the crash that killed the rest of the family, including the dad who was an experienced and meticulous pilot and on Utah's Board of Education.

      Their journey in mortality was over, but they still knew where they were going.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      How awfully sad that your neighbor could not be saved from herself in the very hospital she sought treatment from. Lawsuits won't bring her back but will make people more aware.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Enigmamity - Cash profits drive so much of society. The patient comes in and describes their pain and leaves with a prescription. Some patients use the pills to control their pain. Some others turn around and sell or abuse the prescriptions. Some of those latter "patients" make a living getting more prescriptions for trafficking, often with false identity proofs. For them it's a business that pays well with the small risk of getting tried, convicted, and jailed. Some clinics and prescribers are getting convicted, but they are too small a percentage of the pill mills.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      prettynutjob30 - Two famous centenarian sisters were asked their secrets of long life. One said, "I never married." The other sister said, "Stay away from doctors and hospitals. They will kill you." It seems we should all be cautious about pain clinics, too.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      serenityjmiller - Congratulations on self-control in the face of constant challenges. At least you know what the next years can bring that you will treasure.

    • Enigmamity profile image

      Ramachandra A Pai 2 years ago from Vasai

      Very well written hub. It made me realise the difficulties that people have to go through to come back to the normal joyful state that too, if they are lucky. Or else in majority of the cases as you mentioned, the protectors themselves are predators in disguise.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 2 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great informative hub, the drug abuse rate in our country is off the charts. I honestly believe most of the pain clinics where I am from are nothing more than pill mills. People go there to get pain relief and end up with a nasty addiction, that is hard for them to kick. Most of these pain clinics give temporary relief, instead of addressing the real cause of the problem.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      To be sure, the number of people who successfully achieve sobriety following diagnosis or acknowledgement of drug/alcohol addiction is woefully low. Much more often than not, the vicious cycle simply repeats unto death - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. It's a sobering (pun intended) consideration when we note our abject failure to solve addiction issues in any measurable form. Some of us have experienced amazing grace in recovery, but hey, sobriety is never guaranteed. I've only got four and a half years behind me; hardly time to start getting cocky and taking it for granted. Seems like a whole other lifetime now, but we never know what the next years will bring.