More from Mike Stobbe, Associated Press NY…

“In 1970 and 1971, in New York City, more adolescents, many of them black and Puerto Rican, died of heroin-related incidents than any other cause.

“There was little compassion then for heroin addicts, recalled John de Miranda, a longtime addiction professional who worked with homeless men in Boston’s South End in the early 1970s. “We basically cared for the men nobody else wanted to deal with,” he said.

“Cocaine was also developed by drugmakers and sold to help morphine addiction. It cleared nasal passages, too, and became the official remedy of the Hay Fever Association. In 1910, President William H. Taft told Congress that cocaine was the most serious drug problem the nation had ever faced.

“The crack epidemic died out in the 1990s. Like the heroin surge before it, crack was seen as tied to urban blight and violent crime.

“There were fewer than 3,000 overdose deaths in 1970 when a heroin epidemic was raging in U.S. cities. There were fewer than 5,000 recorded in 1988, around the height of the crack epidemic.

“More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Most U.S. drug epidemics over the past two centuries were sparked by pharmaceutical companies and physicians pushing products that gradually proved to be addictive and dangerous.”

“Total U.S. Drug Deaths* – More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a 2-fold increase in a decade. Source: CDC WONDER

We can conclude from the research done by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press NY that the current opioid catastrophe is not embellished and has much to do with physicians writing prescriptions for addictive and dangerous drugs. Once addicted – the student, housewife, elder, professional, or layperson goes to the streets to find drugs to satisfy their body’s craving for opioids.

News outlets like CNN and social media allow us to hear more quickly and regularly about overdoses from opioids. The heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine epidemics took many valuable lives, just as the present opioid crisis removes loved ones from the earth before it is their time to depart.

72,000 Americans dying in one year from overdose is mind-boggling…

Neither addiction nor substance abuse is anything anyone wakes up one morning and decides or desires to be addicted for the rest of their lives. It is a debilitating, life-changing disorder that negatively affects the individual and family. The many deaths from overdose strain the health care system and economy because people who would otherwise be contributing to society and adding value are taken from the workforce by overdose.

Truth or fake news? I conclude that the crisis is as accurate as it was in previous decades. But it wasn’t a crisis as long as it existed in urban areas and POC neighborhoods.  It appears opioids became a significant crisis when it left urban America and fled to the suburbs.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the opioid crisis in America. Is it more menacing now than in the 50’s through 90’s?