I debated putting two articles about this two days in a row, but as I started to dig a little deeper into this opiates epidemic, it really is nothing short of horrifying. I had a sense it was bad, but not this bad.
Let me include a chart that I got from my friend Brent, so you can see how bad things are:
Heroin overdoses are up 6x since 2001, most of it coming in the last few years. What happens is that people will tear their ACL, get surgery, the doc will prescribe oxys, people get hooked on the oxys, eventually you can't get them legally so they turn to the street drugs. Happens over and over and over again.
Funny, when I had knee surgery, I knew about this problem, so I told the doc, no narcotics for me, I will take Advil. One day after surgery I was calling, begging for narcotics. But I only took them for three days and then threw them out, because I knew how addictive they were. Oddly enough, I was in so much pain from the surgery, the pills didn't even make a dent.
I had an eye infection that turned out to be a problem (you may remember this from 2012) and I went to the hospital. They weren't able to do anything for me, but they gave me a huge prescription for Vicodin. I said, you lazy bastards, you don't even know what's wrong with my eye, but you are going to load me up with Vicodin so I just go away and get out of your hair (I told you the state of medicine around here is not good).
We have millions upon millions of people addicted to these things. The interesting thing about it has affected everyone, rich/poor/young/old/everyone in between. Don't construe this as some kind of moral failing, because like I said, many people get themselves into a position where they have surgery or where they have to manage pain, and they are prescribed this stuff. Someone who has no addictive tendencies is now and addict. Really scary stuff.
This could be worse than AIDS and crack combined. We are just now starting to scratch the surface.
Opiates are no joke. They unleash a powerful physical addiction. The thing that has always puzzled me is how little medical professionals know about addiction; practically nothing at all. Like I said yesterday, we are going to be really sorry that we did not catch this earlier. And I imagine that the cure (prohibition) is going to be worse than the disease. Prepare to hear lots more about this in the next 5-10 years. Only the beginning.
Mod Note (Andy): This post is a reprint from the April 27th edition of Jared's Daily Dirtnap Newsletter. If you'd like to read more, WSO readers qualify for a $100 discount to his Daily Dirtnap daily market newsletter...just email [email protected] and mention "WSO Monkey Discount". You can follow Jared on twitter at @dailydirtnap..