The current bump in “overdose deaths” is not the first bump. Both bumps were the result of government policy, under the guise of helping.

There’s a truism: When you ignore your own history, you’re going to repeat your mistakes.

To start yesterday’s story, let’s step back to 1915, when the U.S. Treasury Department initiated drug prohibition.

The government inserted itself between doctor and patient, forcing the patient onto the black market with its unregulated chemicals.

People started dying from drugs of unknown dosage — unknown content, even. And bereft of any doctor to help them stabilize their drug use.

Prior to that, addicts had been successful in their careers, marriages, and civic lives. And they stayed alive.

To begin today’s story, let’s step back just one generation, when patients suffered intense pain because drug warriors would not allow American doctors to prescribe adequate quantities of drugs.

Recently, the pendulum swung, and doctors became determined that their patients would not suffer pain.

Into this time of a more balanced treatment for pain, there came a villain, Purdue Pharma. Purdue lied to the Food and Drug Administration and the doctors, saying that their new formulation of narcotics was “abuse resistant,” and they buried their research which showed otherwise. Doctors believed Purdue, and trusted the FDA. I can imagine that doctors heaved a sigh of relief, “At last, we can prescribe for pain without worrying about addiction.”

As a result, many patients became addicted.

Then, ignoring history, the government inserted itself between doctor and patient, forcing the patient onto the black market with its unregulated chemicals. People started dying from drugs of unknown dosage — unknown content, even. And bereft of any doctor to help them stabilize their drug use.

And once again, patients fear that their pain will go untreated.

Wiley Hollingsworth

Pullman

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