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Saturday, November 07, 2015

About the drug overdose death epidemic

The Drug Enforcement Agency announced on Wednesday: "Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of motor vehicle deaths and firearms."

That's an interesting statistic. I suppose this is part of the agency's rebuff against those who want to end the War on Drugs, which eats $2 billion of the $3,500 billion annual federal budget. We would have to close 200 DEAs to balance the budget.

That said, the data includes suicides. Is it really the federal government's job to stop suicide?

This is the same problem I have with "firearm deaths." Officially, two-thirds of all firearms deaths are suicides, while almost 20% of the drug deaths are suicides. However, the drug overdose suicides may be undercounted out of respect to the family. Suicide by a gun or hanging is going to be too obvious to gloss over.

To be sure, most cocaine, meth and heroin overdoses are not suicides.

The DEA has a tough job. Washington's refusal to close the Mexican border makes the job tougher, as does the attitude that the War on Drugs is a waste of money. Liberals lecture us that the government has no business prohibiting illicit drug use. If it is, then dump the Food and Drug Administration as well.


  1. The DEA is the only office Liberals want abolished. I never thought of it like that. Maybe the next President can tie all agencies into the Drug War and the Conservatives can finally get heir wish for a smaller government.

  2. Interesting comparison to the FDA. To legalize drugs, regulate, and control content would indeed do just what the FDA does for food. A great many drug deaths are caused by people taking drugs that have either been altered or not correctly dosed. To claim that the failed war on drugs and the closure of the DEA would result in more drug deaths is probably just the opposite as proper regulation, treatment for abuse, and removing onerous prison terms would save lives. The real answer is money, and who gets it.