The American drug society

As part of an overall decline of American culture, the scale of drug use is getting worse, and the government is enabling this development. Drug overdose deaths stand at 112,000 a year and continue to climb. That is about 306 deaths per day or more than 12 deaths per hour around the clock. 20 years ago, the number was about 20,000 per year, but it has been climbing steadily since.

A vast majority of the deaths is attributed to fentanyl, but there are of course several other drugs such as cannabis, legalized in more and more states, cocaine, heroin, ketamine, methamphetamine, LSD and the list could go on. But fentanyl appears to stand out when it comes to deaths.

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic pain relief and anesthetic. Fentanyl was created in 1959 by Dr. Paul Janssen as an intravenous surgical analgesic. Because of its strength, the drug was rarely used except in hospital operating rooms or on large animals.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl, equal to 10 to15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

Illegally manufactured fentanyl is found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and in counterfeit pills. As a result, many people may not know they are ingesting fentanyl, leading to an accidental poisoning. Since 2010, overdoses involving stimulants like cocaine and fentanyl have increased 50-fold.

The government is doing little or nothing to prevent drug use and it is hard to remember any campaign since Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign in the 1980ies. President Ronald Reagan declared illicit drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security and started a war on drugs. Since then, the interest from the government has dwindled and more focus has been going in the other direction into legalizing drugs, in particular cannabis.

As one drug often leads to another drug, it is not necessarily a wise path. In a progressive society, maybe it is accepted that you can do whatever you want with your own body, but the consequences are crimes, homelessness, and deaths.

Today, most precursor chemicals for illicitly manufactured fentanyl come from China and are synthesized into fentanyl in Mexico. Fentanyl is then smuggled across the border into the U.S.. China’s role in producing and exporting illicit drugs dovetails with the emergence of Chinese organized crime as the principal financiers and money-launderers for the drug cartels. The U.S. government’s open southern border policy is making things worse as both criminals and drugs are entering the U.S. freely.

China is one of the most pervasive police states in the planet. The Chinese government has the capacity to shut down the production and export of illicit narcotics. But China will not move to do so unless it understands there will be severe economic consequences, including sanctions, if it continues it complicity in the distribution of drugs in the U.S. The main problem in the U.S. might not be China though, it is rather the American culture of drug use and the government’s promotion of drug use. They don’t seem to care that drug deaths are increasing. There are no government sponsored anti-drug campaigns, no stricter drug laws, no crackdown on criminals, no tightening of the southern border, no actions against China. There are frankly no actions whatsoever. It is a sad reality, but it will get worse.   

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