Sunday, January 7, 2018


     For the second straight year, the US Center for Disease Control has downgraded American Life Expectancy Rates. The last two years of the Obama Administration saw a drop of nearly one year aggregated from national death statistics. 

       The CDC listed drug-related deaths as a major cause of the decline. This category was the 3rd leading cause of premature death (behind heart disease and cancer); up from 4th in 2015 and 5th in 2012. The Obama Administration denied there was any serious problem with narcotic addiction; but to put this in perspective, the US hasn't seen a three-year decline in Life Expectancy since the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1920. That was the most fatal global epidemic since the Black Plague of 1347-1350. 

        The largest demographic measured by the CDC was in 25-34 age group, which rose 11% over 2015. Narcotic overdoses were the leading cause of death and had risen 50% since 2014 alone. About 140 Americans die of overdoses every day. This is a higher figure than US fatalities incurred during the entire Korean War. Two-thirds of these were prescription opioids; primarily Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Tramadol. And, since the new Administration began its crackdown, we're seeing that many of the people were turned on involuntarily by corrupt physicians and pharmacists. 

        President Trump declared a National Health Emergency in 2017 to address the problem. The Administration has made some significant progress in breaking the supply-chains for these drugs as well as extending drug-treatment programs. In December, Trump repealed an Obama-Era regulation which prohibited emergency personnel from possessing and administering antitoxins. Previously, overdose cases had to be transported to a medical facility to receive treatment. The new rule allows for immediate treatment. 

        The biggest component that the US has faced when dealing with narcotics has always been from the demand side. The Reagan Administration began a fairly successful program of anti-drug education. But Democrat and RINO Administrations elevated it to a 'Drug War' which was largely a failure. Obama's Administration took a head-in-the-sand approach and mostly dropped the problem onto state and local officials. Local governments either followed Obama's example and denied the problem, or conversely, made a spirited attempt to stop it. Usually though the latter were overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the addiction rates. 

          Thus, the demand-side of the narcotics epidemic is really at the center of the issue. It's a double-edged problem because at a certain point a chronic addict loses control of his will power. This is why Trump's proposals have a good chance of success. They cover all three aspects: education, enforcement, and treatment. Trump's approach is much more humane than the Bush/Clinton policies in that users are helped instead of incarcerated; the latter reserved for the distributors and traffickers. It is also an improvement over the Reagan policies in that it takes proactive measures. 

         Hopefully, then, 2017 statistics will show a reversal in these trends. It was another social problem of the Deep State Era that went unchecked. 




  1. This has been a long, tragic epidemic. A national emergency really. I'm grateful President Trump is addressing it. We're just starting to see some hope on the horizon. Improving the economy always helps, too.

    A few years ago I met with some local cops and what really struck me was how overwhelmed and hopeless they felt, how the deck was so stacked against them due to government policies. Obamacare mandates and big pharma gave people access to opioids, immigration policies rolled out the red carpet for drug cartels, the lack of jobs created despair. Before you know it, you're just fighting a losing battle, a man made disaster with no one in government who seems to understand the destruction they are sowing,the bad situation they are helping to create. Of course ultimately addicts are responsible, but we create the environment that gives rise to these issues.

    1. The Media hasn't been reporting it, but members of the Trump Administration have been soliciting advice from people actually engaged with the problem. They've repealed a lot of the policies which were obstacles to fighting the epidemic.

      I'm guessing that this year and 2019 are going to see some genuine progress. We don't have numbers for 2017 yet, but we do know that the FBI has put a substantial pressure on the suppliers. Mortality rates are still high and still climbing, though. The number that the CDC cited for daily drug-related deaths is almost double what it was in 2016 alone.