Well hooray hooray, the drug war continues to linger on and now with some new money. Great. This effort will hurt yet more people and make the lives of families dealing with addiction that much more difficult.
Given that the Trump administration has been trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act as an intrusive government intervention into our healthcare, it’s a bit hypocritical to see support for such a paternalistic and authoritarian meddling in people’s personal pain management.
The role prescription opioids have played in the overdose crisis has been misunderstood and exaggerated. As Jacob Sullum noted recently, the number of opioid users who ultimately become addicted any given year is relatively small (one to two percent) and the rate of fatal overdoses among users with prescriptions is even smaller.
Overdose deaths are more likely to come from people combining drugs or combining opioids with alcohol, and these problems are actually exacerbated when you force people with drug addictions into the black market, where they’ll end up taking opioids of unknown origins that may be laced with other drugs. That’s exactly what will happen with an expanded anti-opioid effort.