Car Plant Closures Causing Fatal Opioid Overdoses?

Closed General Motors Plant

U.S. Opioid Addiction – The Blame Game Rages On

Cristal M Clark

According to researchers, since US car plants started closing up shop it has caused a rise in opioid overdoses. The researchers collected data between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2016 on 112 industrial counties mainly in the South and Midwest, using those figures from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, the team looked at how many adults aged between 18 to 65 years old died of opioid overdoses during this period.

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Then blamed the closure of car manufacturing plants for the overdoses. So, am I to believe that these individuals are self-medicating through depression due to job losses? Doctors are prescribing opioids for depression now?

To be fair, manufacturing in the US has been hit pretty significantly over the past couple of decades which can cause a bout of depression in an otherwise healthy adult.  The study looked at 29 counties that had been affected by a plant closure. The data revealed plant closures were followed by a statistically significant increase in deaths due to opioids overdoses. After 5 years, mortality rates increased by 8.6 deaths per 100,000 in affected counties. White men aged between 18 to 34-years-old saw the biggest increases in opioid overdose deaths, followed by those of the same ethnicity in the 35 to 65 age group.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 70,200 people who died of a drug overdose in 2017, around 68 percent had taken an opioid. That included prescription and illegal drugs like heroin and its stronger synthetic counterpart fentanyl.

For me, I am not sure the numbers quite add up. The Midwest and the south have a longer history than this research would indicate in terms of drug abuse issues and to be even more honest, I feel personally that the research is a bit misleading. It’s trying to say that in part in some regions a big reason the epidemic grew to the point that it did is because individuals lost jobs due to manufacturing plant closures.

So, car manufacturers are to blame?

I simply do not buy that. My mom was an addict, I know firsthand the many excuses and reasons people shoved down my throat for why that was and as it turned out, it was because of her and only her. If you dig deeper into these research numbers you see a more clear picture, for some that have been and were affected, they were in fact addicts long before the closure of plant and they were functioning much like that of someone who reaches for a drink upon waking, for others sure it could have been depression but then why would a doctor prescribe and opioid for depression?  That raises even bigger questions such as, how were the affected individuals able to afford the drugs, has anyone else seen the cost of prescription drugs skyrocket the past decade? So, were the users obtaining the drugs on the street, friends, family? No, these people found a way to self-medicate a bout of depression and became addicts.

Mental health seems to be the more underlying issue at hand along with a push by big pharma to take advantage of that and get these drugs into the hands of anyone they could have created an addict out of. That is in fact the plain and simple of it and if anyone wants to argue that point and try to tell me that I don’t understand, you are more than welcome to do that, trust me I had my own demons with addiction once, it’s an argument you’ll not likely win. You can blame, gangs, sex trafficking, guns, and drugs on the street on economic issues, you cannot blame addiction on economic issues, depression and addiction are both a mental illness if you will, economic issues are simply not the same, the end result of economic issues prey on the mentally ill/weak.

Cristal M Clark

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Big Pharma Sends Over 20M Pain Pills to Town of Only 3,200

Docs and Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical Industry Sending Some Love

From 2006-2016 two drug wholesalers happened to ship 10.2 million hydrocodone pills and a rather exessive 10.6 million oxycodone pills to two pharmacies in W. Virginia.

In a joint statement:

“These numbers are outrageous and we will get to the bottom of how this destruction was able to be unleashed across West Virginia.” Greg Walden, R-Ore who serves as the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, along with ranking member Frank Pallone Jr, D, NJ.

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West Virginia suffered the highest drug overdose death rate of any state for the year 2016 by the way.  

A congressional committee that is tasked with investigating the opioid crisis discovered the rather large amount of opioids being sent to the such a small rural area and began to look into what might have been the root causes of it.

The panel set out letters to drug wholesalers Miami-Luke’s and H.D. Smith asking what the hell?

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The committees investigations tend to look at identifying systemic issues like the mass amounts of opioids that are sent to small town pharmacies and one of the red flags is when the number of opioids exceed the towns actual number of residents.

In this case, it clearly shows abuse of the drugs because that averages out to more than 6,500 painkillers per person but…who is to blame for that, really?

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Is it the patients who should be blamed for abusing the drugs?

Is it the wholesalers who are shipping them out?

Is it the pharmacies who are simply tasked with filling prescriptions?

The doctors who are handing out the opioid prescriptions like candy?

While I understand going after the wholesalers, let’s be completely and brutally honest here, this is still the US government going after the little guys instead of going for the mob bosses.

You know, the ones that just so happen to line the pockets of most of the politicians who are in the political arena.

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Jeffrey Sessions and his crew can continue to go after these small time pushers, the reality is that the nation is starting to really see who is responsible for pushing the drugs and getting them out on the streets and sooner or later, big pharma is going to have to pay the price for creating addiction for the sole purpose of lining its pockets, rather than create cures.

Which is what it is advertised as, creating cures, and the ‘temporary’ relief of pain, and correct me if I am wrong, technically speaking of course, that is in fact, very false and misleading advertising now isn’t it?

Cristal M Clark

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Pill Mill Scheme Leaves 700 Dead – 7 Arrested

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Opioid Trafficking – Knoxville, Tennessee, Florida and Rome

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Pill mill scheme ends with 700 deaths, not 7, but 700 dead individuals.

5 american’s, two Italians arrested and subsequently charged with fraud and a pretty significant drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute opioids in both Florida and Tennessee.

Four of the defendants were from Knoxville, one from Florida, and two were arrested by authorities in Rome, the US is seeking to extradite those two.

The indictments that were handed down allege that each of the defendants were involved in a scheme to operate pill mills in the United States.

The defendants in this particular case just so happened to run The Urgent Care & Surgery Center Enterprise.

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The profit that these 7 turned from the distribution of oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine stands at the very least around $21 million, the pill mill scheme also involved kickbacks and of course money laundering.

As for the $700 dead patients, all of the deaths were a result of overdosing on the narcotics that were prescribed by the center. I’d be willing to bet that the narcotics were also being over prescribed.

These lovely defendants hired medical providers with DEA registration numbers, allowing the defendants to actually prescribe the drugs and worse, the clinics did not accept insurance and ordered drug screenings in order to defraud Medicare.

Drug dealers would send “patients” in droves to the clinics just to get drugs prescribed to the mules for resale purposes on the streets while the pretend patients would receive some of the narcotics in lue of pay for getting the prescriptions.

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In all honesty it is time to take a hard look at opioids and consider taking them off of the table rather than cannabis.

They are the most abused and used drugs in the US, that just so happen to be some of the most deadly drugs that are in fact legal here in the US.

Of course the best and easiest way to do away with opioids and opioid abuse is to begin doing away with big pharma, who more often than not buys its way out of regulation, responsibility and accountability.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

DEA wants to conduct warrantless searches

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The United States Drug Enforcement Agency wants the ability to conduct warrantless searches on State run Prescription Medication Database.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that in 2013 alone 65 million people over the age of 11 have used prescription medication for non-medical reasons. A number that has continued to grow rather than decline.

That added up to more people using prescription meds than who were using cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined.  

The pharmaceutical companies as you can imagine are making money hand over fist as the “need” for prescription medication grows, which in and of itself is pretty concerning.

Naturally, the DEA has reason for concern when they hear about doctors or patients who are fraudulently prescribing or obtaining prescription medications that are classified as an opioid.

49 States here in the USA have legislation authorizing the creation and operation of a PDMP (prescription drug monitoring program).

It’s worth a mention that, 49 States here in the US also have a fully operational PDMP which collects and reports data about what prescription drugs you might be taking. That information is “only” used by “authorized” individuals.

UTAH, which participates in the program passed a law last year that requires investigators obtain a warrant in order to search the database.

The DEA has requested from the State of Utah to have the ability to be able to conduct warrantless searches of its prescription drug database while the ACLU is trying to butt in and tell the DEA that, that would be considered a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The DEA lawyers have argued that “Fourth Amendment rights are personal and may not be asserted vicariously.”

The DEA thinks that the ACLU should butt out of it’s business and and do it as of yesterday. They contend that the ACLU has no business trying to get itself involved with this request.

The reason the DEA wants to search it makes perfect sense because they only want to search the database for a specific case or… so they say.

The case involves a doctor and potentially patients who may or may not have been involved in some prescription drug scheme where the provider might be prescribing drugs to folks who have some type of involvement with a criminal organization overseas.

Suffice it to say, many law enforcement agencies argue that these databases are helpful when trying to combat prescription drug fraud and that is true. If you can’t track the source then you have no case and must let the offender (s) go without prosecution.

This turns out to be terrible news for a family who may have lost a loved one who somehow obtained prescription meds fraudulently and died as a result or worse, ended up with lifelong issues that resulted in the taking of prescription medications that were fraudulently obtained.

In Utah for instance, because of the law that was passed last year, use of the database has plummeted because of the length of time it takes investigators to obtain a warrant.

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Sleeping on the other side of the bed, hogging all of the covers is the ACLU who is arguing that police use of the data base brings up some serious issues.

Equality Utah, is a gay rights organization who feels that warrantless database searches can violate the privacy of transgender people using hormone replacement therapy drugs because, the DEA would have access to that information if they were allowed to conduct a warrantless search of the database.

A firefighters union in Utah is also concerned with warrantless searches of the database because a couple of years ago, 2 firefighters were accused of and charged with prescription drug fraud after a wide-ranging search of the database.

Those charges were dropped because whoever performed the search made a mistake and that is the very reason that Utah now requires a warrant before the database can be searched.

Around 20 or so other states also require investigators obtain a warrant prior to being allowed to access the PDMP.

At any rate, the ACLU happens to represent both of these groups.

Here in the US people have a thing about law enforcement and our Government having the ability to look at our stuff whenever they want for whatever reason they want.

But the reality is that most agencies if not all agencies do have a protocol that investigators and officers must go through prior to searching a database like the PDMP.

It’s not like most imagine, cop sits at his desk bored and says “what the hell, I’m bored, I think I’ll search the PDMP today and look for something so I can bust someone.”

In the case of the firefighters from Utah who were wrongfully accused of prescription drug fraud, someone dropped the ball but it wasn’t because investigators on a whim searched these guys out. Someone at some point provided them with intel that warranted the search in the first place.

Now did they do a stellar job of investigating? Hands down, I am going to go with a no on that. The firefighters have a right to sue over that.

Sometimes in rare cases warrantless searches are more of a benefit to society than we know or think. They are at times a necessary evil which has nothing to do with right or wrong whichever side of the bed you are on.

As far as law enforcement having access the transgender communities records so they can see who is prescribed hormone replacement therapy?

I am going to go out on a limb here, I don’t believe that the law enforcement community really wants that information, would bother to look for it or even care about it unless…someone were suspected of something having to do with prescribing and or reselling hormone replacement therapy drugs. Which believe or not is pretty lucrative.

We’ll have to wait and see how the case turns out…

In the meantime…

How many of you are going to check and see if your state allows for warrantless searches of the PDMP?

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop