I was in the movie theater with my favorite person in the world. Before the trailers for other movies we get treated to a barrage of commercials. One commercial makes an impact on me and sends me down a rabbit hole. The commercial has images of women, men and children doing everyday things, going grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, yard work. The same folks are later seen in the commercial being arrested or hospitalized. Then in bold black letters the words Opioid addiction affects everyone.
The rabbit hole was opioids and the United States. Opioids have been in use in the United States since 1860 when soldiers were prescribed opioids for pain from war injuries. The civil war was going on and injuries were common. The injuries were painful and opioids numbed the pain. Opioids worked well but were and are highly addictive. Opioids naturally come from the poppy seeds and required fields and crops to produce. The difficulty in agriculture was a barrier to entry for production of opioids.
Over the years drug companies that were more concerned with profits than health found ways to synthetically create opioids.
Capitalism created, morphine, heroine, OxyContin and now fentanyl. All these opioids were and are extremely addictive and one of them, the last one is very deadly. Fentanyl has some of the highest rates of use and highest overdose numbers.
The more I read bout opioids and really any drug epidemic in the United States the more I see capitalism at work. Pure capitalism is profits above all and that is exactly what the drug business, legal and illegal, does.
People and corporations should not work for a profit. Profits should be side affects of building and supporting a healthy community.
Until humanity puts people over profit the world will not advance.