Addiction Grips America Tighter

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 ( — White America is targeted hard by the current opioid epidemic. A Study shows young white males are hit hardest by latest addiction trend.


Some blame doctors for the over prescribing of extremely addictive narcotics, legal with just a prescription. Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin are among the most common. More than likely contributing to the escalating drug epidemic facing not only our country but more importantly our youth.

President Trump has even decided to get on board with fighting this issue. Forming a commission charged with investigating the nationwide epidemic. Trump placed Gov Chris Christie as the chairman of said committee. Richard Baum was also appointed to be the acting director of the National Drug Control Policy center.

It has been estimated that 78 people die every day in the United States due to opioid-related overdoses. The CDC claimed a record 33,000 Americans died of an opioid-related cause in 2015.

The surge in addiction-related death has been recorded by a study run by Columbia University. The increase in addiction is seen mostly in the disadvantaged according to the study.

“While heroin use is now more widespread among individuals of all social classes and among those with stronger bonds to social institutions, relative increases in heroin use and use disorder across time were greater among less educated and poorer individuals,” Dr. Silvia Martins professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia, NYC.

The increase in the prevalence of heroin is related to the prescription opioid epidemic, as people transition from painkillers to heroin, Martins explained. It is also related to availability, lower cost and the dangerous characteristics of heroin sold today.

“There is more heroin laced with fentanyl [a powerful synthetic narcotic] than in the past,” Martins noted.

Use among whites has doubled in ten years whereas use among non-whites has increased roughly half that.

It’s estimated that about 80 percent of heroin users transitioned from prescription opioids, Martins added.


Research findings have been published online March 29 in the JAMA Psychiatry journal.


To curb the heroin epidemic — particularly among younger adults — prevention and intervention efforts may be most effective, including access to medication-assisted programs and overdose prevention programs, Martins suggested.


This historical analysis of the heroin crisis was offered: “The root causes of this sea change were triggered by two reports that opioids are safe for long-term management of non-cancer pain.”


After these two papers were published, in 1980 and 1986, pressure from pain patients, financial interests, and pain societies led to the designation of pain as the fifth vital sign, she explained.


“We now have a vast increase in lamentable, preventable opioid addiction and overdose deaths not seen in our history,” Madras said.


It doesn’t matter if an addictive drug is a legal medicine or an illicit drug, she pointed out. “This crisis has reinforced the view that reducing supply and demand are essential to national drug control policies,” she said.

“There is a dire need for a national, effective campaign specific for different populations — such as the public, patients, and physicians — on the life-threatening hazards of opioid-induced addiction and overdose and street heroin/fentanyl,” Madras said.

“We must not lose any more people, many in the prime of their lives, to drug overdoses,” she stated.




Silvia Martins, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City; Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., professor, psychobiology, department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.; March 29, 2017, JAMA Psychiatry, online


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