Colleen Singer, family photo
In 1976 the CIA admitted to the Senate committee investigating them, chaired by Sen Frank Church, that they had been smuggling heroin from Southeast Asia in the coffins of US soldiers coming back from Vietnam. They did this in order to finance their black operations, which they did not want to reveal to Congress, in order to get funding. During the Vietnam war America was in the grip of a heroin epidemic fueled by this callous action. Heroin was dumped by the thousand kilo load into poor and ethnic neighborhoods. The media pretended this "epidemic" was an unstoppable deluge and blamed poor communities as the archetects of their own destruction. After we were kicked out of Southeast Asia in 1975, the "heroin epidemic" disappeared. The CIA shifted their evil focus to Latin America and suddenly we had a cocaine epidemic which has never entirely gone away as the CIA is still up to their armpits in political manipulations there. In 2001+ we became embroiled in the middle east...Afghanistan to be exact. 80% of the world's supply of opium, used to produce heroin, comes from Afghanistan. Suddenly we have a heroin epidemic again. Until the sociopaths running the government are convicted and sent to prison for their crimes against their own people (us), there will be no solution.
Very much past time.
Drug deaths will never go away, because drug-taking is a way to dull the pain of an unsatisfactory life, and even the most satisfactory life by any ordinary standard will still fail to satisfy those with pathological needs.
But once we sort things out, such that everything is as fair as can be, we can let the drug-takers go without guilt, knowing that we've done what's humanly possible to give them a reason not to drug up.
Drug addiction's societal problems are a consequence of the War on Drugs.
If you're poor and you do drugs, you're a criminal. If you're rich, you have a drug problem.
I don't know about that, but I do know that because of unsafe water everyone including children used to drink an enormous, by our standards, amount of beer, wine, and spirits. Mostly beer. And opium was used very casually, for everything from quieting a cough to giving a sick child or adult a peaceful rest. And, of course, to dull dissatisfactions.
Yeah. When Marx called religion the "opium" of the people, he mean "pain relieving salve" not "addictive junk".