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posted by janrinok on Friday December 22 2017, @11:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the that's-what-averages-do dept.

There were 42,249 deaths due to opioid overdoses in 2016, compared to a projected 41,070 deaths from breast cancer in 2017 (42,640 in 2015). U.S. life expectancy has dropped for the second year in a row:

The increase largely stemmed from the continued escalation of deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which jumped to 19,410 in 2016 from 9,580 in 2015 and 5,540 in 2014, according to a TFAH analysis of the report.

[...] The surge in overdose deaths has depressed recent gains in U.S. life expectancy, which fell to an average age of 78.6, down 0.1 year from 2015 and marking the first two-year drop since 1962-1963.

In a separate report, the CDC linked the recent steep increases in hepatitis C infections to increases in opioid injection.

Researchers used a national database that tracks substance abuse admissions to treatment facilities in all 50 U.S. states. They found a 133 percent increase in acute hepatitis C cases that coincided with a 93 percent increase in admissions for opioid injection between 2004 to 2014.

From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Friday December 22 2017, @11:56PM (10 children)

    by VLM (445) on Friday December 22 2017, @11:56PM (#613452)

    Around page 9 of

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_05.pdf [cdc.gov]

    you can get the mortality counts.

    Looks like another 20% or so growth rate in opiates will reach influenza death rates, and its gotta long way to go to catch up to Alzheimers and the big ones like heart disease and cancer.

    The thing about opiates is they mostly kill kids, well, 20somethings, so figure they lost 60 years of life. On the other hand, most of my smoking ancestors died in their 70s and non-smokers died in their 80s, so smoking tobacco only loses a decade or so of life, so every opiate death counts "the same" as like six or so smoking deaths. If only addicts could get good clean stuff from government clinics, then they'd die in their 80s and there wouldn't be any crisis not to mention there would be no crime. But important people are making a lot of money out of the existing human suffering, so ...

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:18AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @01:18AM (#613485)

    Give addicts drugs. Free drugs. But you can't stop there. I've seen addicts shoot/smoke some sort of dope in the local parks. They certainly don't look fit for work hours after getting high. So now you have to provide food, shelter, and walking around money in addition to the drugs.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 23 2017, @04:37AM (#613548)

      Yeah, some people want kids to be able to play in the parks, too.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by dry on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:44AM (7 children)

    by dry (223) on Saturday December 23 2017, @05:44AM (#613561) Journal

    They've been experimenting with giving clinical heroin to junkies around here with good results. One interview with a junkie who got on the government program sounded quite positive. Basically went from spending all his time looking for a fix to stopping in the clinic on the way to work for his fix. Now he is a productive member of society rather then a drain.
    Most of these people are in pain, perhaps mental pain, but still pain. With all the cutbacks on mental health treatment, they're left to self-medicate and the free market does not give them a consistent product, just the most profitable.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:04AM (6 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:04AM (#613603) Journal

      and the free market

      There's no free market in US health care or recreational drug usage, especially of the illegal variety. Free markets are one of those weird things that are supposed to work even when you deliberately and extensively break them. Then get blamed for problems that had nothing to do with free markets.

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:06PM (1 child)

        by dry (223) on Saturday December 23 2017, @06:06PM (#613650) Journal

        It is a market that is freer then most markets. The government interference is minimal between the sellers and buyers with the importers and distributors being regulated in the sense that they are banned but keep operating.
        Lots of small sellers selling whatever is cheapest, mis-labeling their product, hard to double check the purity of their product and totally buyer beware philosophy. There's even quite a bit of freedom in the ways you can compete such as killing the competition.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:41PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:41PM (#613731) Journal

          It is a market that is freer then most markets. The government interference is minimal between the sellers and buyers with the importers and distributors being regulated in the sense that they are banned but keep operating.

          Except when they throw people into jail which they do often. That makes it a lot less free than most markets.

      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:03PM (3 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:03PM (#613720) Journal

        You are so, so close to having the come-to-Jesus moment you so desperately need. Read what Adams has to say on natural monopolies, and ponder the implications of a laissez-faire approach to a good or service with extremely inelastic demand.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:44PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 23 2017, @11:44PM (#613732) Journal

          Read what Adams has to say on natural monopolies, and ponder the implications of a laissez-faire approach to a good or service with extremely inelastic demand.

          Meanwhile we don't need to ponder what happens to such markets when external forces create restrictions of supply while simultaneously subsidizing demand. That's what's happening to health care in the developed world (with the US being a notable front runner for the approach).

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday December 24 2017, @07:06PM (1 child)

            by VLM (445) on Sunday December 24 2017, @07:06PM (#613920)

            That's what's happening to health care in the developed world

            Not disagreeing but would extend remarks that our weirdly centrally controlled government controlled economy does that with lots of things. Higher ed, real estate, medical as you mentioned... Before the Trump election this was even going on with firearms and ammunition marketplace. The primary method of central government control of the economy in the last century was stuff like having the proletariat confiscate property. Today we have the government goose demand often by direct financial assistance while applying paper shuffling to restrict supply to explode prices for election campaign donors. Crazy stuff.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Monday December 25 2017, @06:01AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 25 2017, @06:01AM (#614028) Journal
              It's amazing how much stuff in the US has been made more expensive in the name of making it affordable or accessible to all. I guess that's the default propaganda for most government-side manipulation of supply.