It seems compassion is an effective drug deterrent. Too bad there wasn't any during the crack epidemic.

11 Dec 2017

More than 30 years after Congress established new mandatory minimums for illegal drugs with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, it seems America's drug crisis has only gotten worse. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published last month showed that the rate of death from overdose over the last quarter of 2016 in the United States had exploded to 20.6 per 100,000 people, topping the previous record of 19.1 per 100,000 people seen during the preceding quarter, and a full 20 percent increase over the 16 per 100,000 overdose rate Americans experienced during the fourth quarter of 2015. And, according to government datasynthetic opioids(like fentanyl) surpassed legal prescription painkillers and illicit narcotics like heroin in 2016 as the primary source of drug overdose deaths.

The rise in opioid overdoses doesn't just underscore the scourge of the American opioid epidemic, but also circumscribes a troubling trend in America's current public health approach to controlled substances: According to new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, for the first time, the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans is comparable to the rate of cocaine-related overdose deaths among African Americans. But while opioid users have been met with government-funded policy initiatives, cocaine users are still often treated as anecdotal boogeymen by a White House that's made law and order a major agenda point.

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