An Historic Parallel For the Wall and Opioids

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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14 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    Of course opening up more drug treatment centers, increasing reimbursement rates for drug treatment and making drug treatment a standard part of health care which is universal would actually do something concrete. It wouldn’t solve the problem of course, but it would take some positive steps.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    But we should also be aware that our ability to save people from themselves is limited.

    And yet a vast amount of political will is expended every year trying to do exactly that.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    Eh, the fenatyl problem is mostly hitting deplorables.

    There’s plenty of reason for dems to not spend political capital on it.Report

    • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

      To late they have been spending capital on just those people for at decades now. It was D’s who have been pushing for spending more a drug treatment and increasing the money we spend on treatment. Drug treatment is reimbursed at a much lower rate than mental health care so workers are paid shite and many places struggle to stay in business. And then there is that getting health care to more people thing.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Jaybird says:

      Oh come on.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

      Weird how the Democrat’s passed a Medicaid expansion that largely helped deplorables in red states…if their state would “just take the damn money” (TM Harley Race).Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      I read a book a while ago positing that the white, rural deplorables are irredeemably worthless, lazy trash, who are never going to let honest work distract them from booze, sex, and drugs. It didn’t say this in so many words, but the clear implication was that replacing them with immigrants, including the ones from shithole countries, would be a huge improvement. I know it sounds like racist garbage, but it made a compelling case.

      It was called Hillbilly Elegy. You might have heard of it.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      Even by your standards, this is super D-Minus trolling. The Democrats are the ones that passed the ACA and suffered ingratitude for it. They are also the ones who advocate for needles exchanges (if only sometimes), and for the drug whose name I am forgetting.Report

  4. dragonfrog says:

    There are absolutely things that would help – providing legal access to less-strong opioids (which, in the age of fentanyl and its analogs, might even class heroin as “less strong”) of known purity and dosage would help people avoid overdose. There’s even decent evidence that it helps many users improve other aspects of their lives – get housing, decent food, employment, even reduce their use of drugs once the sources of distress like homelessness, food insecurity, and unemployment are held at bay.

    But it would take real willingness to stick one’s political neck out.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    The majority of illicit drugs are smuggled in through valid legal ports:

    They are placed in shipping containers and other hidden places hoping that no one catches them. Some might come across the border sneakily but not much. There is also bribery of officials so they turn the other way. My Evidence professor did a stint at the Justice Department. She told us about how the Feds were trying to figure out why the Sherriff’s race in one small, rural county (in Georgia I believe) had so much competition. Turns out it was because the cartels like to use a rinky-dink landing strip in the county to smuggle in drugs. Every one was fighting for the position so they could be on the take.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    This is great piece. Oddly enough, a recent twitter conversation with Michael Drew got me thinking along the same lines.

    One quibble

    But once the problem gets better — and it will probably start to get better at some point — he’ll claim credit for it.

    I think it’s still going to take years for things to get better, and by that time Trump will be out of office.

    (I.e. George H W Bush gave his crack speech in Sept 89, and the visible drop in crime wasn’t fully apparent until 96 or 97.)Report

  7. DavidTC says:

    As the AP points out, most drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry and a wall will not help with that. And much of the illegal fentanyl is manufactured in this country (Trump previously blamed China for the fentanyl problem when it suited him).

    Even if this wasn’t true, didn’t Trump already switch from a concrete wall to metal slats?

    Fun fact about metal slats…you can hand things through them.Report