Election 2016

Finally, Presidential Candidates Are Talking Constructively About Drugs

esquire.comIn our politics, we are in the middle of one of our well-intentioned drug frenzies again, this time over opioid abuse. Candidates from both parties have injected it into the presidential campaign. (Chris Christie has made it the centerpiece of his attempt to prove to voters that he is not a noxious bully 24 hours a day.) The rhetoric on the topic has been quite gentle compared to the rhetoric that attended previous drug frenzies, most notably the cocaine/crack frenzy of the 1980’s. This is to be applauded, and it is likely due to: a) the fact that America’s pharmaceutical industries and its medical establishment are often the gateways to opioid abuse, and b) the fact that a great number of the casualties of opioid abuse are white people, but this is not About Race because nothing ever is About Race. There is unquestionably a public health crisis here—especially in rural communities in the northern states, like New Hampshire—and it is a good thing that, by and large, it’s being treated as a public health crisis this time around.

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