Tag Archives: illegal substances

Drug Overdoses Causing Death Rates to Surge Among Caucasians

credit: New York Times & CDC

credit: New York Times & CDC

A recent article in the New York Times examined the death certificates of some 60 million Americans between 1999 and 2014, gathering the information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The article notes that death rates for Caucasians of all ages groups rose in each of the last five years, particularly among people who are less educated and lower income.

However, the most shocking statistic may be that the rate of deaths from drug overdoses tripled among whites aged 35-44 and was five times higher for those aged 25-34. The figures included fatalities caused by both prescription drugs as well as illegal substances.

“That is startling. Those are tremendous increases,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

What does this say about the current drug problem in America, and who is to blame? With all of the billions of dollars spent to combat this, yet the death rates from drugs are higher than ever, where does the solution come to reversing this trend?

For starters, we know that there are many effective treatment methods for people who become addicted, so that their chances of escaping the trap are greatly increased if they can be diverted into a rehabilitation program through some form of intervention. The efforts must go well beyond that, though, to include better education and prevention programs for people of all ages, tighter controls over prescription drugs and a change in the thinking that people must take something to feel better. A new set of social norms has to be created, which is no small task, but certainly possible.

Underground Drug Website Silk Road Busted by FBI

silkroadscreenshotNews broke today that the FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht for running an extensive criminal marketplace online called the Silk Road. The site was used primarily for buying and selling illegal drugs and users were shielded through a network of relays so that their real location and identities remained unknown.

In less than three years the Silk Road generated an estimated $1.2 billion in sales, using virtual money called Bitcoins that was converted to real currency. Ulbricht ran the operation from San Francisco and reportedly earned $80 million personally from its operation. He was also charged with attempted murder for trying to hire someone to kill one of his former employees.

The popularity of such a site is perhaps a sad commentary about the state of our society, although illegal substance trafficking and usage is nothing new. From opium trade to prohibition and today’s prescription drug black market, people will unfortunately find a way to buy and sell these substances regardless of whether they are legal or not. The burden for the damage caused by substance abuse falls on everyone to some degree, and the best way to handle it in the future is through increased prevention and education efforts.

In the meantime, effective addiction treatment programs such as Desert Cove Recovery are here to help provide rehabilitation services for those caught in the trap.