WHY I wrote the Series
"A Bottle of Lies" 

The Pill Mills. One pill makes you larger. And one pill makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all . . . the White Rabbit. I lived through the Hippy Era. With God's Grace, I never took street drugs or illegal prescription drugs. I did work in a pharmacy years ago, and the things I saw shocked me to what you see is not always what you get. I've also heard stories from my husband about his brother, who died at 17 years old because of drugs. We seem to ignore, knowingly or willingly, anything negative. The drug crisis is extremely negative. I don't believe that what you don't know can't hurt you. It's more what you don't know, can hurt you, your family, neighbors, friends, lover, anyone.
Drug overdoses are more than vehicle crashes and gun deaths combined.
Experts have a concise if crude, way to summarize this: If it’s easier to get high than to get treatment, people who are addicted will get high. The U.S. has effectively made it easy to get high and hard to get help.
No other advanced nation is dealing with a comparable drug crisis. And over the past two years, it has worsened: Annual overdose deaths spiked 50 percent as fentanyl spread in illegal markets, more people turned to drugs during the pandemic, and treatment facilities and other services shut down.
The Path to Crisis we can't seem to STOP.
In the 1990s, drug companies promoted opioid painkillers as a solution to a problem that remains today. Purdue Pharma led the charge with OxyContin, claiming it was and then it was.
Doctors bought into the hype, and they started to prescribe opioids more loosely. Some even operated “pill mills,” trading prescriptions for cash.
A growing number of people started to misuse the drugs, crushing, or dissolving the pills to inhale or inject them. Many shared, stole and sold opioids more widely.
Policymakers and drug companies were slow to react. It wasn’t until 2010 that Purdue introduced a new formulation that made its pills harder to misuse. The C.D.C. didn’t publish guidelines calling for tighter prescribing practices.
In the meantime, the crisis deepened: Opioid users moved on to more potent drugs, some were seeking a stronger high, while others were cut off from painkillers.
Traffickers met that demand by flooding the U.S. with heroin. Then, in the 2010s, they started to transition to fentanyl, mixing it into heroin and other drugs or selling it on its own.
Drug cartels can more discreetly produce fentanyl in a lab than heroin derived from large, open poppy fields. Fentanyl is also more potent than heroin, so traffickers can smuggle less to sell the same high.
Because of its potency, fentanyl is also more likely to cause an overdose. Since it began to proliferate in the U.S., yearly overdose deaths have more than doubled.
No one has a good answer for how to halt the spread of fentanyl. Synthetic drugs, in general, remain a major, unsolved question not just in the current opioid epidemic but in dealing with future drug crises as well, Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University drug policy expert, said.
Other drug crises are looming. In recent years, cocaine, and meth. Humphreys said that historically, stimulant epidemics follow opioid crises.


Site and Sourced from the New York Times.

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