Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nuts and Bolts

I figure I'm "working for the government" simply in doing my civic duty and investigating my own country. The FBI might as well pay me to study up on the heroin epidemic, shades of Mena in where the drugs might be coming from i.e. from aircraft involved in drug wars.

However that's not my main focus.

Contextualizing my analysis in light of the "Amy cartoon" (she does the storytelling), I have to think of how news networks sop up advertising dollars from the major drug companies, the ones lucky enough to own FDA-approved inventory, meaning insurance will reward the privileged who happen to have whatever conditions they get prescribed for. The DEA will not interfere.

The painkiller industry stoked a major epidemic in North America, especially with the advertising around Oxy. Yes, deflecting blame onto Percocet and Vicodin is often done, but it's about more than if you're an opiate, it's about what media campaigns you succeed at.  The Oxy team had some pro spin doctors.

The FBI went after the "bad apple" physicians but has no mandate to pursue systemic change, as that would be the business of Congress, the rule-making body. How might the FDA admit wrong-doing in allowing Oxy's claims to be especially non-addictive, to go unchallenged?  There's no way, right?  Law enforcement has little leverage with what's by definition legal.

The medical community as a whole got wise to the truth about Oxy, but the damage was done. Cutting off the supply means pushing former patients into desperation. Heroin is the next thing.

We learned about Oxy with Rush Limbaugh, a high profile user. Billboards have gone up everywhere. The issue came up in the presidential campaign. Yet now here we are, debating health care, and we're not really saying if addiction to medication will receive any concerted government attention. Public health and the government's health care bill exist on different planes of discussion.

On Facebook I started up a group of citizens united behind the idea that our heroin epidemic is an emergency and FEMA should step in.

Those "camps" might sound last resort, but hitting bottom on heroin can get that way. These will be a way out.

Also, it's an emergency if your name was purged from the voter roles by intentionally sloppy SQL, so FEMA should have a phone number for inquiries about that too.

Science fiction I realize, that FEMA would take either emergency seriously, but I thought a 3rd party (neither Dems nor Pubs) might use this as a plank in its platform, with the slogan "FEMA loves you". Yes, eerie.

However what's also eerie is how, now that we're down to something like six major media companies, there's no room to focus on the real sufferings of real voters (or would be voters). Air time is what you pay for, you being the advertising sponsor, not the viewer consumer.  You need to push a lot of painkillers to those in pain. Our stories will help you do that.

The supposedly logical response is to deprive local farmers of their privilege to grow their own opium poppies. Demand-side health programs, compassionate treatment, is actually addressing the issue (addiction), whereas supply-side shut-off and interdiction is the better way to get cut in, as another dealer.  The moralizers, who would criminalize and not treat, end up fueling the whole game.