Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder called the increase in heroin-related deaths in the U.S. an “urgent and growing public health crisis” and said first responders should carry a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.
Holder wants to mandate the use of the antidote naloxone by first responders to save the lives of overdosing drug users.
Our government wants to rescue drug users overdosing on illicit drugs classified as a crime that cost anywhere from $40 to $350 a gram. Obviously, inflation has increased the cost of a “dime bag”.
The average addict spends about $150 to $200 a day to maintain the habit and since most addicts are solely focused on maintaining their addiction, they can’t work so they don’t pay taxes, child support and have no health care plans. Yet they come up with the money or a way to get heroin.
Yearly emergency room visits for heroin use equals nearly 15 percent of all ER visits and the relapse rates for addicts who have been in rehab programs average 40 to 60 percent.
Here are the leading causes of the 2,468,435 deaths in 2010 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent report:
Heart disease: 597,689
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364.
Poisoning deaths that involved opioid analgesic deaths involving cocaine, heroin or benzodiazepine didn’t make the list.
The last data from the National Vital Statistics System Mortality file cited 13,800 such deaths for the year ending 2006.
That’s a far cry from an “urgent and growing public health crisis.” It’s more likely an Obama Administration agenda item.
And we, the 200-plus million American federal income tax payers verses the forty three million-and growing Americans who pay no federal income tax, will bear the cost of rescuing drug users overdosing on illicit drugs and dealing with the unintended consequences that come with it.