The 2018 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) numbers are in, but do not give us:
- updated numbers regarding the 2017 daily fatal drug overdose rate (192/day)
- updated numbers regarding the 2017 daily fatal opioid overdose rate (130/day)
- updated numbers regarding the 2017 daily fatal non-prescription opioid overdose rate (84/day)
- updated numbers regarding the 2017 daily fatal non-opioid overdose rate (62/day)
- updated numbers regarding the 2017 daily fatal prescription-opioids overdose rate (47/day)
We therefore can only estimate that 84-people will die today of fatal-outcomes involving street-heroin and street-fentanyl, and 47-people will die today of fatal-outcomes involving prescription-opioids—including the second most misused prescription-methadone and most misused prescription-buprenorphine (SAMHSA p18).
The 2018 SAMHSA Report
The 2018 SAMHSA report did in fact publish the answer to the question: Guess who’s pushing more narcotic stimulants: Street dealers or licensed doctors?
But before we get to that who-done-it, it is epidemiologically vital to point out that the hard collaborative work in fighting the cocaine epidemic of 1982 using the twelve-step abstinence-based recovery program—and relatively little cocaine medication-assistance—paid off (Cocores). When I hear present day naysayers, I think of what Albert Einstein said—Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. I am no Einstein, but here are the facts:
- The prevalence of cocaine misuse in 1982 was 15% (Schober).
- The prevalence of cocaine misuse in 2018 was less than 1% (SAMHSA p.34).
- Today’s prevalence of cocaine misuse has dramatically gone down since the cocaine crisis of the 1980s.
- Again suggesting that twelve-step abstinence based recovery self-help groups and treatment programs help quiet drug epidemics, while replacing one fatal-outcome drug with another—buprenorphine for heroin, or methadone for fentanyl—does not.
- The success of the 1980s cocaine epidemic was in large part to vigilant, responsible, and compassionate federal and state authorities working with top clinical substance misuse experts—without much cocaine medication-assistance—to help distribute an honest hefty dose of twelve-step abstinence-based recovery treatment to the inflicted populous.
- The cocaine epidemic subsided by the early 1990s.
- It has not returned.
And now the answer to the question: who’s pushing more narcotic stimulants: street dealers or licensed doctors?
According to 2018 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) statistics there were:
- 1.9 million methamphetamine misusers
- 1.9 million cocaine misusers
- 5.1 million prescription stimulant misusers
- proving once again that the medical-corporatocracy—including prescribers—distribute more narcotic stimulants unnecessarily than street dealers
- proving once again the dispensing narcotic pills—or any pill for that matter—without a life-style change such as that found in recovery treatment is contributing to 192 fatal-outcomes daily in the United States alone
This is no time to lock up valuable prescribers; it is a time for governors and their health departments—who cannot count on their Beltway-partisan-gladiators to end their Un-Civil War—to require prescribers to dispense narcotics one-week at a time, take 50 Continuing Medical Education credits in identification of substance misuse and referral to twelve-step abstinence-based self-help groups and high-value treatment programs, which deliver the bulk of real treatment for substance misuse (AA, NA), attention deficit (Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous, & Overeaters Anonymous, OA ), heart disease (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), cancer (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), stroke (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), diabetes (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), Alzheimer’s (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), attention deficit related trauma (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA), lung disease (AA, NA, Emotions Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous & OA) and the other top killers responsible for more than 3,000 fatal-outcomes daily.
Let’s wake up and smell the formaldehyde people; people are being led to death right before our eyes.
Cocores JA. The 800-COCAINE Book of Drug and Alcohol Recovery. Villard Books, a division of Random House, 1990.
Schober SE, Schade CP. The Epidemiology of Cocaine Use and Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series 110, 1991
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2018.