THE GREAT WHITE DOPE: PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLER OVERDOSES IN RURAL AMERICA ARE A GREATER PROBLEM THAN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARE TELLING YOU
Many of our readers are very familiar with the massive numbers of homicides, especially within the black community, in Chicago, Illinois over the past three years. The epidemic of homicide in the city has prompted both RedEye and the Chicago Sun-Times to have homicide trackers to keep up with the loss of life. The murders there, the death in the streets, is regularly chronicled by conservative blogs as well.
If 1003 people were killed in Chicago in a calendar year there would be no end of the articles about how savage and uncivilized the residents of that urban center are. Imagine then if 4258 people were killed in Chicago. What response do you think local, state and national government would have? The governor of the state may call out the National Guard and wise people would look at real gun control measures, with teeth to at least decrease one component of the violence.
Keep those numbers, 1003 and 4258 in mind for awhile. Those are how many people that would have to die by homicide to equal the rate of death in a single rural Indiana county from prescription painkiller overdose. That place, Scott County, Indiana saw 9 people out of a population just over 24,000 die in the first 86 days of 2012. If the same number of people, per capita, were victims of homicide in Chicago as died in overdoses of prescription painkillers, in this case a drug called Opana, that would be 1003 deaths. If the number of overdoses remained constant over the course of the full year that number would correlate, per capita in Chicago to 4258 murders. Clearly, rural America has a serious problem here.
And this isn’t simply a singular problem in a county in Indiana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that in 2013 35,663 unintentional drug overdoses took place. The CDC estimates that 60% of those took place in rural communities all over the United States. These deaths a single component of prescription drug abuse nationally cost the United States economy $55.7 billion in 2007. The most likely person to die of a prescription drug overdose is white, male and between the ages of 45-49.
Just this morning USA Today had an article about a spike in HIV rates in Indiana that were caused by people sharing needles to inject Opana. Two weeks ago, in Watervliet, Michigan [pop. 1735 as of 2010.-G.R.M], a town across the southern tip of Lake Michigan from Chicago, Tara Teitsma, 36, was charged with providing methadone, Xanax and alcohol to minors at a New Year’s Eve party. The great state of Oklahoma has also seen a dramatic increase in prescription drug overdoses. Washington County, Oklahoma where just over 50,000 people reside saw 850 died from prescription drug overdoses in 2012. Washington County was second in the number of prescription drug overdoses in the state that year.
Think about that last fact. More people in a county of 50,000 died of prescription drug overdose in 2012 than were murdered in Chicago in the same year. So where is the horror and outrage at this problem vis a vis the horror and outrage at the violence in Chicago? Well, dear reader it doesn’t exist. Washington county with a population of 93.9% of its population being white just doesn’t have the same sizzle as conservative bloggers reporting about murders in the black and brown sections of Chicago [Or as the bigots in the conservative camp call it ChiCongo.–F.S.]
In Debary, Florida, Michael and Cynthia Graves were charged with corruption of a minor by plying a 15 year old girl with prescription painkillers to make her complaint with their prostitution scheme. Candance Carlisle Crocker, a Tallapoosa County employee was arrested and charged with trafficking hydrocodone in Dadeville, Alabama. Cricker has been fired from her job since the arrest became public.
This problem is growing and it is one that America can solve.
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
The Dis Brimstone-Daily Pitchfork
136 Melnar 3 AS