Monday, 30 October 2017

Opioid addiction epidemic in the USA: article and video links

Over the past few days, I shared some article and video links on the tragic and horrific opioid addiction epidemic in the USA, on my Facebook pages, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7. This blog post consolidates those article and video links along with a few comments of mine.

Just 2 minutes New York Times video, https://www.facebook.com/nytimes/videos/1933144356903077/, 27th Oct. 2017. But gives what seems to be an excellent short explanation of the opioid epidemic that has hit the USA.
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USA president Trump made a strong speech recently, about opioid addiction crisis in USA and how they plan to resolve it. Trump declared it as a public health emergency (lower than 'national emergency').

WATCH: President Trump delivers speech on opioid crisis, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmDr_Vquc6A, 37 min 7 secs, published by PBS Newshour on 26th Oct. 2017

Here's the transcript of USA President Trump's speech: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/26/remarks-president-trump-combatting-drug-demand-and-opioid-crisis

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Informative article about history of narcotic drug epidemics and how they were combated in the USA.

Opioid epidemic shares chilling similarities with the past, http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/28/opioid-epidemic-history/, 28th Oct. 2017

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Around 10 min, Oct. 5th 2017, published by PBS Newshour, How the opioid crisis decimated the American workforce, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJZkn7gdwqI.

Ravi: I wish USA govt and all people involved in fighting this problem (medical staff, first responders, the addicts themselves etc.) all the very best in their efforts to tackle this horrendous crisis.

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A voice that is critical of Trump administration's approach to solve the opioid crisis being interviewed on Democracy Now by Amy Goodman, around 13 mins, Neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart: People Are Dying in Opioid Crisis Because of Politicians’ Ignorance, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKXWelf-ZvA, published Oct 27th 2017.

People Are Dying Because of Ignorance, not Because of Opioids, by Carl Hart, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/people-are-dying-because-of-ignorance-not-because-of-opioids/, Nov. 2017 issue.

Ravi: Fortunately, stuff like OxyContin does not seem to have hit rural Andhra Pradesh, India, much as otherwise, I guess, I would have read reports about it in the media. All private (and govt.) medical practice in Andhra Pradesh eventually is under state govt. control (and union govt. for bigger level issues but perhaps through state govt.). So among doctors as well as pharma companies, there is a fear of the govt. health ministry targeting them for stuff that becomes an epidemic.

While I have not studied this topic much in the Indian context, I don't think an OxyContin like (and similar drugs like) corporate pharma company driven phenomenon which has reached epidemic proportions now in USA, could have gone on in India. I mean, the pharma companies would have been forced to make some changes by the top ministers in state/union government, after any such epidemic proportion addiction had been well publicized in Indian media.
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