America has been fighting the war on drugs for over 40 years, yet accidental, drug-related deaths continue to climb in the United States. Last year, Fox News reported that deaths by overdose increased more than 30 percent from 2011-2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids are the main killer, linked to 33,091 deaths in 2015. Since 1999, overdoses related to opioids have quadrupled. As the health department has found, drug abuse takes a particular toll in certain areas of the country. In 2015, West Virginia had the highest rates of death caused by drug overdoses. New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio and Rhode Island were also hit particularly hard by the drug problem.
It’s hard to figure out which group of people in the forefront of the opioid epidemic disgust Dr. Richard D. Blondell the most. The drug companies that enriched themselves developing painkillers and sending out legions of sales reps to flood doctors’ offices with the narcotics? Outlier “writer” doctors who only take cash to see patients, charge more than the going rate for office visits, and tailor prescriptions to the desires of their addicted patients? Health insurers – including Medicaid and Medicare – that pay for these drugs, and pass on the cost to policyholders and taxpayers, although they have the ability to track and crack down on abuse?
Over the past year, I’ve tried to clear up a lot of the misconceptions on food and drink: about salt, artificial sweeteners, among others, even water. Now let me take on alcohol: wine, beer and cocktails. Although I have written about the dangerous effects of alcohol abuse and misuse, that doesn’t mean it’s always bad. A part of many complex and delicious adult beverages, alcohol is linked to a number of health benefits in medical studies.