Biden Doubles Down on a Lethal Anti-Drug Strategy

The U.S. government failed for more than 100 years to stop Americans from drinking politically-disfavored substances. Even worse, the U.S. government has intentionally made drug consumption more dangerous by forcing Americans to depend on unknown-composition black-market drugs and pushing traffickers towards increasingly potent intoxicants that are easy to smuggle.

These phenomena can be illustrated in the “opioid crises” that have seen record drug-related death rates. However, instead of recognizing the fatal effects of prohibition President Joe Biden has redoubled his efforts to implement a strategy that has never been as successful.

Biden last week signed two executive orders to combat “transnational criminal organisations” which “contribute directly [to] tens of thousand drug-overdose deaths each year in the United States.” One replaces federal government’s Threat Mitigation Working Group by a new U.S. Council on Transnational Organized Crime. The other allows sanctions for “foreign people involved in the global illegal drug trade.”

A senior administration official said that drug trafficking had changed drastically over the past two decades during a conference phone call. The official stated that illegal drugs are now “more potent and addictive, deadly, and can kill in large numbers.” This is reflected in the “skyrocketing death rates from synthetic opioids.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, more than 100,000 deaths were caused by drug overdoses in the United States during the last year. This is an increase of 23 percent over the prior year and 46 percent relative to the previous year. The majority of opioid-related cases involved opioids. 85 percent of 75,000 opioid-related deaths occurred in the category of fentanyl or its analogues.

This record breaking number is a result of government efforts to decrease drug-related deaths. After a successful campaign was launched to lower opioid prescriptions. This drove people who were not medically able to use the drugs into black markets, making them much more hazardous because they are unpredictably pure and powerful.

Between 2010 and 2017, the number of opioid prescriptions per 100 Americans fell by 28 percent; the rate of high-dose opioid prescriptions—defined as 90 morphine milligram equivalents or more per day—fell by 56 percent. Since 2010, the number of opioid-related deaths has more than tripled annually.

Interview with Carlisle in 2017. Sentinel, Carrie DeLone, Pennsylvania’s former physician general, confessed that “we knew that this was going to be an issue, that we were going to push addicts in a direction that was going to be more deadly.” The reason she gave was “You must start somewhere.”

To get an idea of the potential consequences of this attitude, look at what happened to OxyContin in 2010, which was an extended-release version oxycodone. A 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research paper concluded that “a substantial share of the dramatic increase in heroin deaths since 2010″—perhaps as much as 80 percent—”can be attributed to the reformulation of OxyContin.”

Fentanyl, a heroin-stimulating drug and a substitute for heroin has made this issue even worse. It makes potency more unpredictable. According to a senior administration official, today’s drug trade doesn’t depend on vast amounts of land or crops.

This trend is also driven by government policies. Fentanyl, which is roughly 50 times as potent as heroin, is a logical choice for suppliers dealing with government efforts to suppress the drug trade, since it makes production and distribution less conspicuous and more profitable.

RAND Corporation Researchers estimated that at the import level in 2019,Fentanyl seems to be 100x more expensive than heroin, according to some estimates.” Because fentanyl has a much stronger effect than heroin, packages weighing under an ounce are able to replace ones weighing a few pounds.

“Historically,” The HillIn its report, the government noted that “drug trafficking groups have been quick to adjust to new law enforcement methods.” The government doesn’t seem to be able to predict this reaction or the deadly consequences.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.