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posted by martyb on Wednesday May 02 2018, @01:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-use-no-fake-opiods? dept.

Synthetics now killing more people than prescription opioids, report says

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.2844] [DX], calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

That's more than a three-fold increase in the presence of synthetic opioids from 2010, when synthetic drugs were involved in approximately 14% of opioid-overdose deaths.

Related: Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Study Finds Stark Increase in Opioid-Related Admissions, Deaths in Nation's ICUs
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
Two More Studies Link Access to Cannabis to Lower Use of Opioids

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  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Wednesday May 02 2018, @06:17AM (2 children)

    by shortscreen (2252) on Wednesday May 02 2018, @06:17AM (#674471) Journal

    But in reality the US is doing as well as it ever has

    I recall that you have made posts with a similar theme before. It's definitely something to think about. Why do people feel like everything is going to shit, if quantitative measures (eg. violent crime) show the opposite of that? Maybe there are other factors to consider: levels of personal and public debt, inequality (perceived or actual), Orwellian surveillance and doublespeak, "if it bleeds it leads"

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Wednesday May 02 2018, @07:46AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 02 2018, @07:46AM (#674487) Journal
    I think the problem is threefold: first, that globalism and labor competition from the developed world has created at least a half century of significant stress on the US both economically and society-wise, plenty of parties (not just the usual suspects or narratives!) are making short-sighted decisions, and perception != reality.

    For example, when you're having to compete for the same jobs with a variety of foreign workers who often worked for an order of magnitude less, that puts stress on you to do better than the alternatives. Often that didn't happen and that work ended up on distant shores. The baby boomer phenomenon also created a one-time economic windfall (growing wealth from real estate) that isn't easily duplicated.

    The second point is that a vast number of political decisions serve to protect the interest of existing voters rather than invest in the future. For example, in areas with good economic conditions, there is a universal trend towards protection of existing real estate over creation of more. Homes in particular have grown so expensive that they inadvertently serve to exclude the less well-off from the better economic areas. When we create a system where the home becomes a store of value, perpetually increasing in value via policy and contrived economics, we create a situation where it becomes very expensive to live in a home.

    If I want to move to a place with better work opportunities, odds are good that I'll have to pay a lot more for my housing, even if I rent instead of buying a home. That's a big obstacle to economic migration in the US.

    Similarly, there have been many, many schemes at the state and local levels to license businesses and occupations. Where the licensing isn't onerous, this can result in better quality. But where it is onerous, it results in rent seeking protectionism where whole sectors of commerce are protected from competition to the detriment of everyone else.

    In a typical two-parent family where both parents work, if one parent works in a restricted sector (for example, K-12 education) where crossing state lines can result in substantial training or licensing requirements in order to preserve the ability to work, then that becomes yet another an obstacle to migration to better locales. You get stories like where one parent has to turn down a nice job because the other parent can't get work there.

    Finally, there's plenty of examples of short-sighted decisions about future generations who can't vote yet. Not much point to a pension system like Social Security that delivers less value than it soaks up in taxes for people younger than about 60. Or the world famous, inflated US health care. Or all the usual political messes that go on.

    The third point is an important one. Sometimes people don't know any better. Information can cure that usually. But sometimes they perceive things a certain way because they are invested in that viewpoint. It can be really hard to convince someone when they really want to believe in a false story. I believe this is a large part of the problem, that people want to believe that things are getting worse, that greed or evil is ascendant, etc in order that they may be the savior of their story. So what should we do about these negative perceptions of our world when many of them are merely acting out private or ideological stories that don't have much to do with us? With that, I focus on the weak spots of those stories. Maybe they have an obsession to defend the acts of the current Venezuelan government. Maybe they have to insist that any Muslim migrant is guilty of genocide or other hideous crimes. At some point, you can get them into one or more untenable positions where they have to advocate some monumentally irrational or diabolical act to defend their narratives. That's when you get them.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02 2018, @04:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02 2018, @04:17PM (#674627)

    As someone who left my home region because of the economy - it's because "quantitative measures" are usually averages across the entire nation, and by population. Most of the population lives in very small dots on the map, so unless you live in one of those dots it's not going to reflect your own reality.

    Just as my personal example... saying "Look! The economy is great because unemployment is 4%!" means nothing to the place I grew up because unemployment is actually between 8-10% unless you drive 100 miles. Everyone you see and interact with on a regular basis doesn't live in a place where unemployment is 4%. We don't have violent crime as a problem, so why would we care if it's going down from 2 instances per year to 1? When it's that low it's just noise, it means nothing.

    I don't really have a feel on the other two things you mentioned, because everyone is poor out there and we know that debt is to be avoided if possible. If you take a student loan, you by default leave the region because you can't find a job to pay for it where you grew up. Brain drain is a massive problem - but not for the cities, because that's where they are being drained to.

    If I have to drive 300 miles to find a place where the measures are actually close to the measurement, it's not very good to use for quality-of-life. And if people keep using them to "prove" that things are good, like federal politicians do, I'm going to treat them as a untrustworthy because they clearly live in different reality than me. I'm not going to believe you necessarily even if you are telling the truth.