Young Victims of the Opioid Epidemic – The New York Times

“Opioid overdoses have claimed more than 300,000 lives in the last 15 years, including some 33,000 in 2015 alone. But those numbers do not tell the full horror of this epidemic, which has devastated the lives of countless children whose parents have succumbed to addiction to prescription painkillers and other opiates. In one terrible case last month, a Pennsylvania couple died of apparent overdoses, and their baby perished from starvation a few days later.”

A successful effort to reduce drug addiction would look very different than our current war on drugs. It would be complex and multilayered. As several famous economists, including Herbert Stein and Martin Feldstein, have noted, we have to legalize and decriminalize addictive drugs to end the epidemic and the illegal trades horrific, related crime. We would have to have a Marshall Plan of support for addicts, possibly including the unemployed. One of my goals is too elaborate more on each idea either in a book, or at my blog, My son Austin died in 2010. He is one of the 300,000 to die in the current epidemic. The illegal trade is a powerful force, a $50 Billion a year business that is destabilizing familes and governments around the world.

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